Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 118,491,560 Issue: 238 | 5th day of Hunting, Y8
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The Five Sacred Stones of Geraptiku: Part Three


by dan4884

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Part Three: The Guard Stone

I looked at Ekwi. She stood there, stone-faced, as she tried to think of a plan.

     “We need to tell the Elders!” she concluded. We turned and dashed back into the hut where the Council sat.

     “The spirits—they’re back!” Ekwi said frantically. The Elders stood up in a flash, and handed the stone to me. “We need to warn the villagers,” the Techo said as they filed out of the hut. We exited after them and began to yell out to the townsfolk.

     “The spirits are back! Get to a safe place and stay there! Do not attempt to fight the spirits! Warn the others!” the Elders were saying as they hurried through the town.

     Ekwi turned to me. “You have the stone. Use it,” she said. I looked at the dagger shaped stone in my hands.

     “I can’t use this,” I told her. “You found it, you use it.”

     “It is yours now. The Elder specifically handed it to you. I cannot go against something the Elder does,” she said. I thought I detected a bit of sadness in her voice, but I wasn’t sure. There was a lot of commotion.

     “But I’m not a fighter!” I exclaimed. “I can’t do it!”

     “Yes, you can. Do it for the sake of Geraptiku.” Her words reminded me of an article I had read back home. It talked about what archaeologists were thinking happened to Geraptiku. I suddenly had a vision of me discovering what happened, and even changing it. I could change the past and affect the future. I could save Geraptiku and preserve it for centuries to come.

     And that’s when that feeling came back. The feeling that I needed to do something to change the world returned to me, and I knew what I had to do. I needed to save Geraptiku from these spirits.

     I grasped the stone tighter and looked at Ekwi, who stared at me expectantly. “How do I use it?” I asked.

     “Just throw it at the ghost. It’ll do the rest,” she told me.

     I glanced around for the nearest spirit. I saw one heading towards the Council’s hut.

     “Hey!” I shouted. The specter continued on, ignoring me. I ran towards it. “Hey!” I shouted again. It turned as it saw me nearing. I threw the weapon at it and it screeched in reply. The stone had ripped a hole in it, and it began to dissolve into nothing. It broke apart from itself, each particle floating away in the night sky. The stone jumped from the ground and back into my hand. “Amazing,” I said as Ekwi trotted towards me.

     “It is, isn’t it?” she said. “Good job. Now find another one. It seems that that stone is the only way to defeat ‘em.”

     I found another one, and used the same technique, as if I were skipping a stone across a pond. It gradually became easier for me to destroy the ghosts. The other ghosts heard the screams from the ones I had destroyed and stopped to watch. They began to retreat, nervous about the unnatural weapon I carried with me.

     Soon enough, the town was empty again. Villagers emptied out of their hiding places and began to cheer for me, happy to see the stranger who had saved their town. Ekwi looked less than pleased, but that didn’t matter. I had fulfilled my need to do something to help others.

     The Elders called me back in to see them after the chaos had died down. They were all sitting on their cushions as if nothing had happened at all.

     “Jake the Gelert, we thank you graciously for saving our town,” one of the Kougra elders said. “And to honor this, we invite you to sit in with us as we discuss what to do next. Will you accept?”

     I smiled. “Of course, it’d be my pleasure. May Ekwi stay with me?” I asked.

     “Yes, yes, she is invited as well. Now then, what are we going to do about this? Tura-Kepek has attacked us twice in one night, and we are not going to stand for it anymore. Any suggestions?” the Techo said.

     I was going to say something, but I was interrupted by a voice outside the hut.

     “Oh, great Council of Elders, I bear a message from Tura-Kepek!”

     “Come in, come in!” the Chief Elder said hastily. A Nimmo stepped inside, carrying a small piece of parchment.

     “I found this note attached to the door of my hut, Chief Elder, and I immediately brought it here. It says, ‘If my requests are not met by the end of tomorrow, your puny village will be destroyed, despite this weapon you possess.’ It’s signed by Tura-Kepek,” the Nimmo read fearfully.

     This caused a stir in the Council. “Thank you, Oko, you are dismissed,” a Mynci said. The Nimmo left the note with one of the elders and left the hut.

     “What are we to do about this?” the Chief asked fearfully. “We cannot have our town destroyed by a tyrant, yet submitting to his orders is just as horrible. Oh, why must we go through this ordeal?”

     “I think we should give him what he wants,” a Kougra said. “It’s better to lose two villagers than the whole village.”

     A Mynci nodded. “I agree with Ezo. Go through with his orders,” he said.

     “How dare you say that, Chizu? We are going to send two of our own to death, just because a shaman says so? You disgust me! How could you say such a thing?” said the other Mynci.

     “He has sent his henchmen on us twice! Who’s to say he won’t do it again?” Ezo argued.

     The other Kougra spoke up. “I agree with Mola. We should not send a sacrifice.”

     “Thank you, Aka,” Mola said. “How do you feel about this?” she asked the Techo.

     The Chief looked at the others. “I…I think we should send a sacrifice,” she said shakily. She looked towards me.

     “What do you think, Jake? Do you agree with this?”

     I looked to each of the Elders, and finally at Ekwi. “I have to say I’m not sure what I think. There are major pros and cons to each side of the argument and I don’t know how I feel. However, if there is to be a sacrifice, I wish to offer myself as part of it.”

     All six of the people watching me shifted uncomfortably. “Do you really wish to bring this upon yourself?” the Chief asked me.

     I nodded and looked at Ekwi. Her eyes showed so much different emotion, it was hard to tell what she was thinking. I hadn’t noticed how beautiful her eyes were before now. She stared at me for a moment longer, and then turned to face the elders. “I wish to be the other part of the sacrifice and accompany Jake,” she said solemnly.

     The elders looked really worried now, as did I. I didn’t want her getting hurt for my sake! “If that is what you wish, then the Council can do nothing about it. So be it. However, I wish to speak with the Council alone. May we see the stones again?” We handed the stones to them and left the hut.

     “Why did you do this, Ekwi?” I asked her.

     “For the same reason you did: to play the hero,” she said, stone-faced.

     “I’m not playing the hero!” I told her angrily.

     “Could have fooled me,” she said, not looking at me. “I know you plan to fight Tura-Kepek instead of just submit to his sacrifice. I want to be there to help you. I’m not just some sidekick.”

     Surprised, I spluttered, “That’s not what I was going to do.”

     She looked at me skeptically. “Yeah, right. Look, I’m coming with you, and I’ll help you defeat him. This is my town, and I want to save it as much as you do.”

     I fell silent. Part of me felt happy that she was coming along rather than any other girl, but I didn’t want her getting hurt either. It was a hard thing for me to get over.

     We walked around town for a bit the rest of the day, for the Council had given us explicit instructions to stay in town until after they had spoken with us again. Ekwi showed me around the village. I marveled at every little thing. It truly was a sight to behold. I only hoped I could change the future and keep it that way.

***

     The Elders called us back late that night. They silently led us back to the hut and we sat down on pillows they had laid out for us. My stomach was twisted in so many knots you could practically see them on the outside.

     “Jake and Ekwi, we wish to present this gift to you before you depart for…for your journey. We have decoded what the stones mean and have created one similar to it for your protection.” Ezo the Kougra pulled out a stone in the shape of a shield, with the same engravings covering it.

     “With the right engravings, we were able to imitate the magic produced for the stone you use a weapon. It was fascinating to watch it being made. Anyways, we hope you take this on your journey and use it for anything you may need.”

     I was amazed. Were the elders telling me to fight them? It seemed so, even though they didn’t say it outright. I guess I had gotten the wrong impression before. This made me feel even worse, for if I failed here, then I not only failed myself, but the whole village. I smiled nonetheless.

     “Thank you for this wonderful gift. We will be sure to use it,” I said half-heartedly.

     “Now, you must be off. We are afraid if we keep you any longer, Tura-Kepek will get angry. Go, and we thank you with our entire being,” the Chief told us. We stood up, and all five elders, hugged us. The Chief gave us both kisses, and sent us on our way.

     Ekwi and I left the village, and set off towards our fate.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Five Sacred Stones of Geraptiku: Part One
» The Five Sacred Stones of Geraptiku: Part Two



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