Champion of the light, p.1
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       Champion of the Light, p.1
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           David Castleton
Champion of the Light


  Champion of the Light, by David Castleton

  The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living of dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

  Text copyright 2013 by the author.

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the author.

  For film rights contact davidrcastleton@live.com , put in subject line ‘FILM RIGHTS’.

  Special thanks to Benjaim H. for his invaluable advice and critique.

  For Mom and Dad, with love.

  A son couldn’t ask for better parents.

 

 

  Prologue

  "Out of style!?" King Vallidius Blue raged. "Out of style? How can this be?"

  The King tugged at his blue hair as he sat down heavily on his exquisite throne of rare blue coral. He twirled his azure beard around and around his finger in a display of nerves.

  "Y-yes, milord," said Gleef, Vallidius' servant. "Our agent close to Miss Edomal Blaize, Dloop, has obtained some ominous information. It points towards a declaration by the famous fashion designer and supermodel to ban the color blue for the coming summer season. This will be made public in three months time, on June the twenty-first."

  There was a crash and the tinkle of broken glass was heard as Vallidius' goblet shattered, spraying its watery blue contents all over Gleef's shiny bald head.

  The King stood up and paced back and forth as dark cerulean torchlight flicked eerily around the room. "This is terrible news. It's not as if she is going to announce that another color is in style. That would be tragedy enough. But no. She will place an official fashion ban on blue clothing, effectively creating a taboo on blue for the entire summer season!"

  The King wiped his brow. "Gleef, do you understand what this means?! If Edomal Blaize, influential chairwoman of Blaize-Paris, comes out with a declaration like this, everyone involved in the mortal fashion world will follow suit. No civilized mortal will dare be caught wearing blue this summer. Oh! what will be of me? Of us? And of my precious power that I have worked so long to build up, that I have toiled so much to fortify, that I have labored so hard to strengthen. I, King of Blue, must stand every bit as mighty as the great and terrible beautifly blue seas."

  "Yes, it is heart breaking news, and very terrible indeed, sir," said Gleef. But Blue barely afforded him a glance.

  One of Blue's many pet octopuses swam by the King, contained in its magical watery bubble. He reached through it and pet the creature's mushy, spongy skin. "Octopus, oh mighty, splendid, cobalt octopus. You understand why I need my power, don't you my maritime friend? The power of a man is always symbolized by his hand, which you have eight of! You want power, and you crave dominance, just as I do. You understand me better than all of my thick, brainless servants. Such a beautiful creature. How I love, and how I admire, the beautiful octopus."

  "Love them so much that your extravagant octopus feasts are driving them to near extinction," Gleef muttered to Carrow, one of the King's Guard. Carrow laughed softly, a bittersweet sound, tinged with misery. The laughter of a subjugated man with no hope of freedom, enslaved against his will until the end of time.

  But the King's ears were spry. "What was that?"

  "It was nothing, nothing at all, milord," said Gleef hastily. He knew that whether he would be allowed to live through the rest of the day or not depended on what he said next. "Just a little joke about, um, Edomal Blaize. About how foolish she is!"

  "That's right," Carrow quickly agreed. "She's such an utter fool, to mess around with the great House of Blue."

  "Yes indeed," Blue breathed softly to himself. "How very foolish she is. She has no idea of what's coming her way."

  Gleef exhaled a sigh of relief. He had been spared, this time. They told him that working as personal assistant of Blue would be hard and exhausting. Most lasted an average of eight months before they were executed or ran away, whichever came first. But he was forced to take on the undesirable job to save his son who had been caught stealing an apple from the King's private stores from the death penalty. And a half rotten apple at that.

  Blue continued lamenting. "How I wish that I had eight arms, eight long, marvelous arms—" he paused to stare at Gleef, as if he was expecting him to say something. Gleef just stared blankly back.

  "Why," Blue hissed.

  "Oh yes, of course. Should've known that I was supposed to ask the King 'why'. Silly me," mumbled Gleef. In a louder voice he said, "why?"

  "To wring that insolent mortal Edomal Blaize's neck!" yelled Blue as he clenched his fist dramatically around an invisible neck.

  Tensions between the Royal Houses of Blue and Green were steadily rising. Blue knew that he would need all the power he could get for the battle that was sure to come.

  "Well, at least we still have the blue sky on our side," said Blue.

  "Ahem," Gleef spoke up. "I regret to inform milord of some more ominous information that our agent Dloop has managed to procure. Miss Blaize has made plans to employ colorful gases in coloring the skies of fifty major mortal metropolises at the start of summer and continuing for two whole weeks, to kick off the start of a blue-free summer season."

  A thud was heard as King Blue fainted and his tall form struck the floor. His servants quickly revived their master.

  Blue walked to the gigantic window of his underwater throne room which afforded a view of the sea and watched a shark swim by. Something had to be done. Miss Blaize couldn't be allowed to carry out her evil plan. "Gleef, send out our best investigators to the Mortal Realm at once. They are to try and find out where this horrible idea originated exactly. We may be able to trace it to one of the other Houses of Color. And I assure you, when I find out who it was there will be hell to pay!"

  "Yes sir."

  "Now, bring me my Book of Punishments!" the King roared. "I'll show that arrogant mortal."

  King Blue just loved to administer punishments, but had a terrible memory. So he had all the many punishments that he knew of written down long ago in a massive book bound in whale-skin leather.

  Two servants of the Royal House of Blue staggered into the throne room with the huge book and set it down on a table with a thump. Blue flipped through the pages in search of a particularly nasty punishment to match to the great crime Miss Edomal Blaize plotted to commit against him. He couldn't find anything fitting. But then one caught his eye.

  "Deeth," he read slowly. "What is deeth, Gleef?"

  "Death," Gleef corrected, "is what happens to mortals when they cease to live, sir. Like when one of our kind dissolve. Only they can't come back."

  When an inhabitant of the Color Realms is injured adequately, they dissolve into a puddle of liquid in the color of their Realm. Then they evaporate. Some are formed and come back again as men, others come back as plants and animals, and still others move on forever.

  "And what happens to mortals, after death?" asked Blue with a gleam in his eye, savoring the word 'death' in his mouth.

  Gleef gulped. "Surely the soul of Miss Blaize will be sent to a very horrible place for the heinous crimes that she has committed against the most exalted King Blue."

  "That's right," said King Blue. He smiled for the first time that day. "That's what I wanted to hear. You did well, Gleef. You have potential. You may even last the year, if you keep it up."

  Gleef managed a half-smile that showed gaps in his teeth. He didn't want the King to think him ungrateful.

  King Blue stood up to his fu
ll height and shouted, "Death! I shall punish this mortal, who dare challenge Blue, with Death!"

 
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