The sphere the phantom o.., p.9
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       The Sphere: The Phantom of the West Rim, p.9

           Fandy Adams
 

  “Where I am actually?” said Rey faintly. He fixed to the moons as if enchanted by them.

  “Peace.” answered Aska.

  “What?”

  “My father told me when you feel at peace in some place then the place called ‘peace’, when you feel in love with a woman then the place is called ‘love’ and when you are with peoples you love then that place is called ..."

  “Home”

  That spiky haired boy then lay down in his bed, staring at the tiny cobwebs in the ceiling while turned the key on the ship toys. Suddenly that little ship flying above as it release from his hand, hovering slowly under the white roof and it looks like going to a battle with the skeletal dragon hanging above.

  “Is it good?”

  “What?”

  “Your home, your world, is it a good place? Tell me!” said Aska

  “I only live with my grandfather. He was nice and friendly always keep a good relation with the neighbor and everybody else. We’re not wealthy people but we also never had problems with financial things. Well I could say that we never had some monotony rigid come into our house with any kind letter of debt.”

  “Wow, your world must be wonderful.”

  “It might be.”

  “How about your parents? Do you have a brother or sister?”

  “They’re somewhere far away from me.”

  “You mean they work in another country?”

  “No, they’re gone, forever. An accident took them both along with my little sister.” said Rey, his voice sounds fainted when talked about those he loved.

  “I’m sorry, I don’t know about that.”

  “No need to, at that time I was just a little kid. I don’t even know how sad it was for left by them. The only regret was that I never knew about them except faint memories.” said Rey, as he trying to cover the sadness on his eyes with smile. “But I'm very thankful that my grandfather was always there for me, beside Asti always take care of me and protect me.”

  “Asti? That name sounds like a girl, yours?” asked Aska.

  “She’s best friend of mine, like you and Eorin.”

  “And who's the boss?”

  “She was.”

  “As I thought.”

  “How about Eorin?” asked Rey.

  “Eorin comes from Namasse, a little town bordering to both Nirithrea and Azgalor in the northwest. She was the only daughter of Gardinierre, a middle-class family who runs on flower business, rich enough and quite respectable in the town from I heard. But I’ve never been to her house or met her family.” said Aska.

  “How’s that happened? I thought both of you are best friend.”

  “Indeed, but Eorin told me not to visit her home and that including Flo and the others. Moreover she never returned home since she set foot in the Grove.”

  “She never went home?” said Rey look surprised.

  “Yes, since the first time she came here I never saw her return home to Namasse. Whether it was holiday or day off she always chose to stay in Lucretia or help me find something in the Grimwood or elsewhere except her home.” said Aska "Strange isn’t it?"

  “Yes.”

  “But I think it was made sense.”

  “What's make sense?”

  “Well, her father runs a flower business and that kind of goods have market only in the big cities such Lucretia, Namtar, Tajar and another. Her father must be very busy enough till he back home just once a year and get together with her in just a week.” said Aska. “But that’s not the worst part of the story.”

  “Is it?”

  “Yeah, the worst part of the stories is when her father gone, the one who left on her home was her stepmother along with those two stepsisters.”

  “Wait a minute, how do you know her stepmother and stepsisters? You said that you never visit her home or met her family.”

  “Oh hell no, I didn’t even know if she had stepmother or not but it’s always like that in opera soap.”

  Rey winced when heard it.

  “Her stepmother maybe had cruel face and sinister smile, and she want to kill hundred Dalmatians to her fashion.” said Aska.

  “Wow, somehow that face familiar for me.” said Rey.

  “And her stepsisters, beautiful and glamorous but wicked in their heart, always had man’s face under their heels.” said Aska. “Maybe they want to take over Eorin’s money and always planning something evil to Eorin and her father. Maybe that’s the reason why Eorin was never come home and prefer to stay here, I’m sure of it.”

  Aska got dragged further into his own prejudices. Now his mind filled with the scene of the soap opera and he clenched two of his fist as in rage.

  “I didn’t think Eorin was some short of girl who ran away because there’s problem with home or her family.” interrupted him while he thought about Asti, spent a life with her made him at least knew about runaway girl and that’s something he didn’t found in Eorin. “Maybe she had her own reasons to stay here, maybe she's just bored with her ​​home and seek a new one."

  “For years, doesn’t she miss to her family?”

  “Maybe she had remedy for her yearning. You yourself must have some way aren’t you? To remembered your beloved one and heal your miss to them.”

  “The Volk Tribe always watched the moon to remind them of home. We believe the moon connect us through our eyes. We believe that when we look at the moon, the peoples we loved also see it and that way we felt that they’re beside us.”

  “But I don’t think me and them watching the same moon now.” said Rey, as he stared at the moons and somehow he felt so far away from his home.

  “Don’t worry about that, I’m sure you’ll find a way return to your home. Just enjoy it while you’re here.” said Aska. “Now get sleep, tomorrow is your first day.”

  “First day?” said Rey wondered. “Hey Aska, what do you mean ‘first day’?”

  Aska simply answered with snores. He had fall asleep already. Rey then lay down on the bed, staring at four-winged skeleton hanging in the ceiling. One question comes into his mind, ‘can I go back home?’

  ***

  At the same time while Rey could pass the night without worry, somewhere in the far west of Ishtar, the peaceful night was bothered by the assault of the Phantom. They were black as the darkness of the night and only those creepy yellow eyes were looked on them. Like a living dead they had stooped posture but their eyes straight to their prey. A burst of green light came out of their palm and streaking everywhere like silent fireworks in the darkness. All of them fell instantly by the green light but seemed it didn’t brought the death with it, for everyone whom fall still have white breath blew in this cold night.

  And they weren’t alone on the assault. Among the chaos there were small figure wandering and collecting the fainted villagers. Raider they were called in common, for the wicked thing they have done for live. Like a scavengers they’re live from the dead, a group of greedy grave robber and loot whatever left from battle. Their bodies were smaller than normal human, about three-quarter of a man and only few strands of hair left on their chapped head skin. But what became of their trademark was the length of their arm, almost twice longer than normal human and equipped with steel claws, sharp but rusted, served as a tool for grave digger or weapon for those wretched kin to kill. They were armored just with chest plate, simple and light, fit for their small bodies but agile, and on the armor there’s painting of a dry blood. Red stained veils covered their faces. It’s said that the veil was came from the cloth of fallen soldier who died on the battlefield. Raiders believed that blood-stained cloth were the cloak of The Death, they believed tore and wore it would grant them privileges to take and grab whatever belonged to the dead. But this time those who usually collect the goods of the dead now carried living human. They carried everyone which had taken down by the Phantom into some gate. It was shaped like a mouth of big snake and gape widely as if could swallowed a small house.

  One
of Raider couldn’t deny his nature. Among the chaos a little thing has seduced him. It was a ring, on the finger of a lady, the light surround reflected on the diamond. The Raider slowly crawling on all fours with eyes flashes in the dimness. He looked left and right, and then roughly grabbed the ring as if he doesn’t hesitate to break the finger.

  Suddenly an unbearable pain strike inside his head like some force crushing his skull. The raider was twisting in the ground and screamed in pain. But no one cared about him even other Raiders just glanced and then continue to sweep fainted villagers.

  “I did not summon you for a cheap jewelry!” said a mysterious man who walked out from the shadow of the woods. His face was covered by the shadows of the hood he wore, and the light was very rare around him to his eyes weren’t gleamed. He wore a dark-red robe and seems luxurious, noble he might be or someone who possess great wealth. Two peoples stood next to him. One carrying a scepter in his hand and the other one had a sword at his waist.

  Once he lowered his hand the Raider stop screaming, the pain in his head was gone instantly. He lied down, breathing hardly with slobbering mouth. Then he crawling with a limp and bowed a head as if seek forgiveness from that mysterious man.

  “Why you called this wretched beings My Lord. We could use our men and airship to take all of them.”

  “Airship was too subtle. Better if we use their Serpent Canal, simple and untraceable.”

  “But it seemed our little project had been noticed. The Shell has set his eyes here and I heard this incident will be a discussion on the Lodge tomorrow.”

  “Thousand peoples have disappeared within a month in our need. I’ve never thought that we could hide this in a long time.” said the mysterious man. “However I heard there’s a rumor about silver-haired man wandering around Lucretia, I believe Sahagin will focus on him for a moment and give us a little time to finish our test. And for The Lodge I don’t really worry about them. There’s only politics and florin there. A new crystallite mines in Nerut worth of billions florin would be more on their interest than thousand of missing people here.”

  “How about cover up? We couldn’t get away so easily after this. They will hunt us down, Ishtar, the Shell, anyone in this land.”

  “Do you afraid?”

  “We’ve been hunted down for years by our government. One more nation put a bounty on our head wouldn’t makes any difference. But our purpose was grand and we’re just at the beginning, too soon to make Ishtar and Shell set their eyes on us.”

  “I’ve already had a plan to cover up but for this I need you to send some message so they will act to our scheme.” said the mysterious man to the one who wield the sword.

  “To whom I must send this?”

  “You know him well, for you have met him several times in Silent War.” said mysterious man to the one who wield the sword. “Sahagin already called him and he will be here soon. Try to not get killed, for he’s stronger than the last day you met.”

  Suddenly a bolt of flame interrupted them. They turned to the attacker immediately, a young man he was and keenly he stared at them with blazing flame in his hand ready to attack. And not only him, behind him they saw some peoples fought against the Phantoms, even few of them only using shovel and fork to fight.

  “Do you want me to take care of them?!" said the man with the sword.

  “Hold your lightning! Let those Gargantua take care of them.”

  The villagers fought bravely and among them there’s a guy who had his hand covered by rocks like it was a glove. He was pretty tough, many of the Phantoms and Raider fell on his stone fist but none of them wounded him even a little. Stained claws of Raiders couldn’t scratch his imperishable glove neither sleep magic have effect against rock.

  A stronger punch hit one of the Phantoms till the Phantom down with helmet off into shadowy grass. The guy then walked toward him with stone fist clenched in wrath. He wants to see the one who dare to attack his village and crush their face with his stone. But suddenly he halted in surprise as he saw the true face of the enemies. He gazed at them in silence and wonder, rage in his eyes turned into confusion till the rock on his hand fall apart. From those all he hated to be behind the black helmet none of them become of whom he saw now.

  Suddenly the ground trembling and the forest breaking, sleeping flock flying with fear as the sound of cracking forest draw near. For a moment everything fell in silence and fear. Then as if born by the shadows of the forests, suddenly two abominable giants break through the woods and screamed to the night. Fearsome and tall they were, about 3-4 times taller than a man. Their skin was pale, darkened and rotten flesh looked from their open wounds. They wore mask made by dragon skin with the dorsal fin stretched from their nose to neck. Nothing could be seen on their faces but sharp nasty teeth on their lipless mouth and one creepy lidless eye stared to them from the eye hole. They held different weapon, one with the right eye wield a huge axe while the one which stared at the villagers with his left wield a spiked mace.

  Both Gargantua brutally kills the villagers who tried to fight back. Those who had fought gallantly now become helpless in the presence of the giants. None of their weapons and magic could hurt them, swords seemed dull, spears and arrows nothing more than just needle for their huge body, and fireballs like a little spark against their thick skin.

  One by one all of them fell under the hands of giants. And those who tried to escape had no better fate, either killed by the steel claws of Raider or down by magic of men. Just less than a minute they have silenced all the resistance they’ve got.

  Soon as they have swept all the villagers they drew themselves. The mysterious man and his aide vanished within the shadows of the forest and so was the giant while the Raiders went through the Serpent Canal into somewhere unknown. Before leaves, the last Raider halted and stood under the fangs of stone. He looked behind and saw nothing but destruction and death.

  Chapter 9

  The Legendary Sword of Tyvelon

   

  At the morning they came into headmaster office, as been summoned by headmaster himself. However they found the room was empty now. No one was there but them, though a classical music was plays there to accompany the morning. Few minutes they have waited but no sign of the headmaster will come. Rey walked and looked around. Many things look common for him though he felt a bit odd about it. “Sentient and Magic”, “The Seven Ancients: The Legendary Beast of Spheria”, “Reign of Astarte: the Beginning of History”, “and many of the book on shelf have uncommon titles. Some painting depicted a beast and nature that unrecognized by him and many strange objects he never seen before.

  On the other side Aska rummages through the cupboard and then he took a jar of biscuit out of it. “Well, it’s better than nothing.” And as he ate something has caught his attention and without doubt he took it. “Hey look at this!”

  “What’s that?” asked Rey, looked at it with wonder. It was an egg but the contour was like turtle shell.

  “It’s Pandora Egg. I used to play with this when I was kid but now it’s rarely seen.”

  “What is that for?”

  “Just toy, break it and you’ll found random pet, bullcat, ring-tailed rabbit, flying fish something like that.” said Aska. “Let’s see what’s inside.” Aska raise his hand, ready to break the egg.

  “Hey …” Rey tried to stop it but he’s late, Aska had tapping the egg to crack.

  “What?”

  The egg was broken and dropped from it was a little creature, dark and winged, but looks very spoiled and harmless like a little baby.

  “Oh, look it’s a bat.” said Aska.

  The little bat then grew bigger and bigger, very rapid it grew that only need few seconds for it to the size of a dog then at last it rose like a demon with dark wings stretched. The head was like a bat with the form of grotesque and it stands proud before them, gazing at them with eyes blazing red and the cupboard the monster tore it with a scratch of its sharp claws.

/>   “Ok, it’s bad.” said Aska.

  The monster leaped and chasing them both, it tore and destroys everything on the way to catch them till they cornered on the windows.

  “Do something! You can turn into that big wolf right?!”

  “Do you think I brought my Sphere here?” said Aska “Good bat, good bat.”

  The monster walked over to them but suddenly the dark skin of the monster burnt to vapor when it exposed by sunlight. Looked at that both of them was very happy and relieved, Aska even taunted him under the sunlight and the monster just groaned showing its fangs.

  Then from the door the headmaster came in with watering pot in his hand. He was surprised to find his office was messed up with a winged monster there gazed at two boys near the windows.

  “Ok, who’s messed up my office? You or you?” asked headmaster.

  “He did!” They both agreed to point their finger to the monster.

  The monster turned to headmaster and soon it ran to attack him. Calmly the headmaster cast something on it and the monster disappeared like some black mist devoured it into the void.

  “I’m sorry for make you waiting.” said headmaster while put the watering pot.

 
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