The sphere the phantom o.., p.31
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       The Sphere: The Phantom of the West Rim, p.31

           Fandy Adams
 

  “I wasn’t mean to rude but your presence here was illegal except princess herself confirmed about your quest here. But her highness too young to have such decision and confirmed about you will only give her a trouble.”

  “I understand.” said Scarlett.

  “But…”

  “He’s right, we’re lucky enough not be listed as enemies. Let them take care of the rest.” said Eorin.

  “A friend of mine still inside, would you look for him? He’s in the main hall and wounded.”

  “Main hall, you mean the one with a big hole? I’m sorry ma’am we had swept that place but we found no one but broken blade and purple slime.” said Juntari.

  “You mean no one there? Not even dead monster?”

  “Dead monster?” said captain confused.

  Scarlett laughing and murmuring, “You got me again Marius.”

  “What happened?”

  “Nah just forget it. Let’s get some places and clean ourselves.”

  “I don’t see a better place to go now.” said Aska with huft.

  “How about five stars hotel in Khatar?” said Scarlett, showing a grasp of gold in her hand.

  “Where did you get that?” asked Aska look excited.

  Scarlett gave no answer. She just walked away and followed by other behind. Along the way Aska tailed her and keep asking about the gold.

  “Is it in the castle?”

  Chapter 26

  The Covenant

  Five days has passed since that. The tidings of the west never reach the capital as the military and local authorities have covered it up, just a bad rumor about some group of brigands that trying to grow a fear and spread a chaos in the west border. So was the menace of the silver-haired has vanished itself. The city had been guarded tightly, not even a smuggler did dare to enter the city, yet there’s no sign of Artharis. The last and uncertain information was come from Aska in the day when Covach came to the Grove.

  Today Lucretia city more crowded. In the street many caravans are coming and out and the railway is much busier than usual. At the blue sky of Lucretia eight airships floating above the city, five ships looks conventional brought the passengers who want to visit the city and attend the festival while other two were slightly bigger, it was merchant airship, full of great goods which could make them reap huge profit at this moment. And the last one looks more majestic and luxurious than the others, the royal airship of friendly country it might be and it flew to the royal palace escorted by two Wyvern flying beside it.

  At the top of the Lodge Scarlett stood looking at the city crowd with a telescope. Her appearance now looks more feminine with her red hair loose long and casual outfit. She was never expected to return to the hustle bustle of this city. Her last journey like a dream, weapons and magic of humans she had experienced in the past but never thought on her life that he would be buried alive inside the legendary monster and fought the giant like Gargantua.

  “With all that happened to you I thought you will be retired for stalking and gossip.” said a man who walked up behind, he’s got an oval face with short hair and brown eyes. Tall stature and slim but looks gallant in scales-patterned red armor.

  “No, I just want to see city rush.” said Scarlett. “Besides, take more than just Gargantua to stop me to peek off the senate who likes to do strange things.”

  “It seems the festival will be more crowded than last year.”

  “I don’t know Dusan. I just feel this year will not be the same as usual like there’s something bad going on.”

  “Maybe it just your feeling.” said Dusan.

  “It might be.” said Scarlett smiled slightly, but Dusan could see there’s a bit worries left in her eyes.

  “By the way why you tell me to come with my dragon? I never thought that you’re interested in flying up.”

  “I want to borrow your ride, with the rider of course.”

  “I don’t mind to give you a flight. It just weird, you always do some acrobatic show to explore the city.”

  “On the last journey I had falling into deep ravine with tons of carriage that would juice me as I got on the ground.”

  “Is it true?!”

  “That's why I came to Professor Chevron, and he gave me a tool that might suitable for me.”

  “Considering you want to lend my dragon, I could predict that tool would help you to dive in the air. Am I right?”

  “Professor called it Leaf Wings, broad-leaved plants that can be used as a parachute. Very practice, just use Dryad Sphere and it will grow instantly.” said Scarlett “That's why I want you to take me under the cloud."

  “Ok then, the cost for this flight is a cup of Jabberwock coffee with your story as additional taxes.”

  “Deal.” replied Scarlett.

  “But first give me a ride because she’s waiting on the top.”

  Scarlett touched him and at once brought him to teleport on the top of building. There Scarlett appeared with a bit feeling of surprised, for stood before her now a magnificent beast with wings tighten looking at the blue where the freedom stretched for it. The dragon was slightly smaller than Red Wyvern, long neck and gray skin but brighter at the bottom of the neck to the belly. Seemed it wasn’t the dragon for battle; the claws weren’t too sharp and the feature doesn’t look ferocious. It was almost like winged lizard than dragon as common.

  “The Grey Scrapper?” said Scarlett.

  “She’s beautiful isn’t it?” said Dusan as he walked to his dragon, but Scarlett stood still. “Why? Say something.”

  “No, it just I thought you will bring a Wyvern here?”

  “Are we going to battle?” said Dusan “For you to know she’s my first ride on the sky.”

  “Really?” replied Scarlett.

  “Yeah, since I was in the farm.” said Dusan. Then he leaped to its back. “Do you want to fly or just looking there?”

  Scarlett jumped to join in the rear and with one word from Dusan the dragon leaped and stretched its wings to fly above the city. The dragon flew so calm and gentle like it was not flying but swim in the sky, and with one jolt it soared into the blue sky.

  “Is this en-nough?” Unnoticed by Dusan, Scarlett has jumped down below.

  To the earth she swoop down with hands and legs stretched. Then like flower blooms in suddenness a wide thick leaf spread between her wrists and legs, and with that she swerved forward like sparrow – calm but fast enough to beat the wind.

  “She did it! That gossip girl made it!” cried Dusan look excited. “I should try that sometimes.”

  At her height the city of Lucretia looks like blurred terrain, and slowly as she get down everything seemed rising and get bigger with innumerable tiny little spots spreads and moving in the city. Soon everything looked clear for her, every place and building, every road and rail. Swiftly she head down to the green square at the top of building.

  Down there, on the roof garden of Ishtar Grove, everything seemed calm and peaceful. Headmaster watering the plants calmly with small hum came out of his smile. But then all those peace and calmness was broken when someone suddenly glided down from above, fell and rolling to shave off the green patches before him.

  “Could you get in a normal way?” asked headmaster to his niece.

  “Well, this is how I am.” said Scarlett.

  ***

  The sun rode slowly down the sky. The golden light of the noon glittering on the giant windows of Ishtar Shell and the whole corridor became bright. It was so quiet there, only Marius was seen in that corridor. He wore formal clothes but looked bit messy with his right arm plastered. At his right the giant glass curtain shows the entire panorama of Lucretia. Amongst all, Ishtar Grove was caught his eyes most, remind him of younglings who accompanied him in the last mission. And then he found himself in front of a door. Two guards, big and tall, halted him directly.

  “You must be joking, come on guys! You know who I am, so forget the formalities and let me pass.”

&n
bsp; “Try it!” said the guard challenged him.

  Marius sharply glanced at them and swiftly he slipped a hand into the coat as if want to draw a weapon to fight them.

  “The best from the west, I’ve brought this from Khatar, special for you both.” said Marius, as he showed two cigars which flanked between his fingers. “Now don’t tell me that I didn’t remember you both.” said Marius.

  Both of them took the cigars and smiling, and then they opened the door gladly as if Marius was special guest. Marius entered the room and there Sahagin sat and seemed waiting for him. And as always his eyes were cold and sharp.

  “How was your trip? I heard you found something interesting there?” asked him with heavy voice.

  “Don’t you want to ask about me first? Am I all right? Or have I wounded?”

  “You're alive and standing before me, it’s only wasted my time to ask you that.” replied him coldly.

  “That’s fair, a simple and uncomplicated bureaucracy.”

  “I heard you brought something for me.”

  “Of course, but first explain about this.” said Marius, as he tossing a bronze coin to Sahagin. “I knew you had one of these. This one I got from Flamberg and I think two others keep the same coin. Will you tell me sir?!”

  Sahagin paused. For a moment he just looked at the coin while flipping it and suddenly he pounds the table to put it on. Marius bit startled but he trying to keep calm in front of him. The black guy then took something out of the drawer and put it beside the coin Marius brought.

  Then Marius looked at it with wonder. It has same size and same engraving but instead of bronze, the coin which Sahagin had was made of Gold. Marius picked it up immediately and looked at it carefully.

  “You right I had one of these. But like you, I took it from someone.” said Sahagin.

  “What is it actually?”

  “I don’t know but the symbol you look now was the seal of the Dark Lord.”

  “What? How I don’t know about it?"

  “That's because the Dark Lord himself rarely show it nor wore it, him and his minion, but the ...” Sahagin paused as if what he will says is something he hated most from himself “but the Aesir like me or Alden know that this symbol several times carved by the Dark Lord himself.”

  “Do you think they’re remaining of Lord Azriel?”

  “Dark Lord has a lot of followers, people who want to live longer than the fate, the wicked who try to satisfy their lust for evil, greedy people who were trying to dredge its own benefit, the group trying to survive in the world he will made and the king who wants to be leader of the slaves. Dark Lord might fall but not with his followers, they are still a lot and wandering around the world, even most of them had quite prosperous life.”

  “Who are they?”

  “They called themselves ‘The Covenant’ at least that was had threatened to me as I put my blade to one of them. But the most interesting point wasn’t their name but their purpose, … to bring back their master.”

  “That’s ridiculous.”

  “For you but not for them and I never think people like them would put joke on this.” said Sahagin. “Their members spread worldwide, Ishtar, Azgalor, from the Peninsula of Arabana into the deepest of Azzure Point. Currently they only had a few members, less than hundred it might be but most of them are elite politician and wealthy class. They always move behind the shadow so we could not trace them. For years, me, Alden, Valerius and the former Aesir who still could be trusted trying to seek information about them whom within our country, but still, we could only grabbed a little piece about them.”

  “If I may know whose coin this is?”

  “You knew him because you take part in his captivity.”

  “Dantorrran?”

  “Yes, Godfrey’s brother. Almost all information about The Covenant I extracted from him, even then only few which really useful.” answered Sahagin. “It seemed they have to maintain simple structure and small number to keep their secrecy and this coin not only shows their membership but also their position, as we found there were different types. I assumed that Dantorran who hold the gold one sat at the top while Bitzberg and his brothers lied on the intermediate level or lesser, but still trusted enough to carry out important task.”

  “If Dantorran involved and have Four Brothers as the fanboys I could not imagine how powerful they are.” said Marius.

  “Yes you were, for you had seen what they have done recently.”

  “Did Godfrey belongs to them or it did otherwise around?”

  “Until now I still do not know whether he is one of them or not. But I knew him well, he has become the new king in this world and he is not going to messed it by trying to resurrect the Dark Lord. Even if he joined I believed it was just only to seek more profit and power.” said Sahagin. “Why did you ask that?”

  “Because this is what I want to show you.”

  Marius put something on the table. It was purple Sphere he got from Blitzberg with the dead queen sealed inside. Though Sahagin wondered about the Sphere which he seen for the first time but he more concerned about the shape inside. It seems like an old horror came upon him after many years, for he was among those who fought and killed it.

  “A new kind of Sphere?” asked Sahagin.

  “Yes, and more advanced than any kind of Sphere I’ve ever know. The queen inside was already dead, yet I could sealed it in this Sphere and used its ability. Though not as good as when she sealed alive but I could give someone little pain in the head.” said Marius “I thought the only evil geniuses who can created such thing was Godfrey.”

  Sahagin took it and use it till it glows in his hand. “Hmm, this is very interesting. The Sphere, like it had its own energy in massive amount. No wonder if you could seal dead terrestrial inside and used its ability.” said Sahagin “However to think this one created by Godfrey, I doubt about it, neither anyone in his company. He was genius indeed, maybe most among the Aesir, but this is beyond his knowledge and ability. Even to imitate it I believe he could not.”

  “Then who’s?”

  “I don’t know. Certainly the one who created it and the women inside wasn’t ordinary person.”

  “Then give me your order and I will investigate them.”

  “Many sentinel killed just for a few minutes of our conversation, just as those who assigned to investigate the incident on the west. What makes you think you will have better fate?”

  “I survived.”

  “And that’s almost. You’re lucky because that red-haired woman back you up, not to mention those kids.” interrupted Sahagin.

  “Then allow me to take a day off. This mission was hard, so I need a little vacation right now, maybe do a little fun like treasure hunting, some antique coins maybe.” said Marius.

  Sahagin sighed. “Fine, I’ll give you ticket to Khatar. Remember, your primary mission is keep alive, a little information from you is much more useful than your death.”

  “Marius Centrinus ready to serve the Kingdom of Ishtar.” said Marius firmly.

  Chapter 27

  Unspoken Farewell

  Eps sat and looked in amazement at the broken sword which lied on the table. His eyes seemed brighter than a glitter on the black blade and bedazzled he was into serious person rather than short-tempered like always.

  “What happened to your face? It’s like you had been drinking a dozen glasses of badger milk.” said Aska “Don’t take it too serious, we just want you to smooth the tip and attach a ‘safe crystal’ on this sword.”

  “How did you get this?” asked Eps.

  “It is a long story, but if I could make it short I found it in the ruins called Acronesia.”

  “That legendary city? So it was true exist then.” said Aska, he continued immediately “Wait a minute, the city you’ve talking about was lost, it was devoured by the Great Worm. How did you find it?”

  “That is the part where my story took long.”

  “I don’t in
teresting about how you can get inside it, for I knew no one would ever plan to do it. But how you could get out was got me interested. So far as old tales tells, none, both living and ruin was ever get out of it except the Dark Lord which I believed whatever he did none of you had capabilities to do it. So it draws me to conclusion that this sword play important role in your break out. I’m I right?”

  “Yes.”

  “Then tell me your story about the sword, start it from where and how you got it and end it after you step on the surface, but give all detailed even if there’s detached lace from it.”

  Rey thought for a moment, revisited the moments and ruins in his memories. He then gave his story to Eps. Seriously Eps give full attention for him, not even heard by him the sound of crafting metal but like the sound of falling coins. And like he was expected the boy before him has no gift in words and timelines, even so Eps got what he need, not the exact detail but at least he got the straight line. Little part are beyond his crafting skills and knowledge, some he recognized in his past about the silver-haired man he knew in the past with his blue flame while most could only have assumed by skillful bladesmith on his level.

  “Hmmm that was quite interesting.”

  “What is interesting?”

  “I couldn’t say something that beyond my knowledge, for bladesmithing was something sacred for our kin so we couldn’t talk baseless things about sword or any kind of weapons.” said Eps “The shape of this sword was no longer exist and the craft was long lost, for the shape was particularly belong to the people of Juppon, a nation who were inhabited near Namtar but destroyed by queen Astarte over fifteen centuries ago. However its ability to reshape into another shape was similar to the Eternity in some ways.”

  “Eternity?” asked Rey curious.

  “Legendary sword of Artharis, blue flame like mysterious magic of netherworld but it could reshape into blue crystal sword, un-destructible and had great destructive power. But the Eternity was shapeless and even though it was like a living magic in the hand of Artharis it could only reshape into one form only, a blue crystal sword. However yours sword if I wasn’t wrong it could reshape into few different shape with different abilities and you already recognized one, a stone blade with abilities to conduct your magic on the ground.”

 
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