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Shades of Darkness: Shadow is Arising - Part Twelve


by jesse12_3

--------

It Begins

I froze with fear. Not one inch of me moved. My brain was sending signals to my feet. MOVE! But I did not. I just stood there, petrified with fear. I was unarmed, and whatever was in there was dangerous.

     "Mackenzie?" a voice said. I turned around to see Pudding.

     I pointed to the doorway and mouthed out some words. Pudding got my point and drew her sword. She handed me her sword, hilt first.

     "I'll go get a torch," she said, creeping back down the stairs. She came back a few minutes later with a large burning stick, no doubt taken from one of the small fires that I had seen earlier.

     Pudding and I walked through the dark doorway. She held the torch while I held the sword. The light of the fire flickered off the blade.

     Something was moving around. I could sense it. A shadow on the wall flickered that did not belong to me or Pudding. Pudding shone the torch in its direction.

     It was a Darigan Scorchio. It put its hands in front of its face, shielding his self from the light. I placed my blade upon his throat.

     "You have ten seconds to tell me why you're in here," I said, pressing my blade even closer to his neck.

     "I wouldn't talk like that to an assassin," he said with a smirk. "I know what happened to your Eyrie."

     "Well, newsflash, bucko. I know what happened to Dark_Intrepid, you have this sword pointed at your neck, and what ever you want, I'm not telling you."

     "Well tell Tal that The Living Shadow knows where he is."

     I didn't wait to hear what he wanted to say. He gave Dark_Intrepid to the Shades. That was enough for me to hate him for his deed. Now he wanted to finish me off by feeding me some dung about Tal. Shadows don't live. With one quick motion of my blade, he was gone.

     "Let's just hope we don't have to do that again Pudding," I said as I cleaned her blade.

     "Here's your blade," I said, handing her the sword. "Now I have to get out of here."

     "Where are you going?" asked Pudding.

     "My magic training starts. This may be the last time I see you Pudding. This is going to be dangerous, very dangerous. I might die," I reached down and hugged the Kougra. "You've grown a lot since I first took you off the streets."

     "I'll miss you."

     ************************************************************************

     "I'm here!"

     Tal looked around and saw me running towards him with a sword at my side and some bags of food and clothing.

     "How much food did you get?" he asked.

     "Enough to feed us for a couple weeks if we don't eat more then needed."

     "We'll eat trail rations. Now c'mon, I want to take advantage of this darkness now before it wears off."

     "It wears off?"

     "After a few hours."

     Tal led me down into the tunnel. Two Unis were waiting for us at the bottom. One was the rainbow Uni that I rode to Azlan, and the other was a Shadow.

     "Hey," I said as I walked up to the rainbow Uni. Tal disappeared into a side room.

     "Just call me Raindash," said the Uni. "I would have told you on the way here, but we aren't aloud to give our names to people before we know they are trustworthy."

     "I see you're more talkative now then before."

     Raindash just smiled. Tal came back out of the room with some saddles and saddlebags. "Here," he said and gave me a saddle.

     I put the saddle on Raindash. "Do you like having people ride you all the time?"

     "Actually," said Raindash, "you're the first human to ride me. Normally I'm used to ferrying Zafaras around, and they're really lightweight. I don't mind, of course. I'm a war Uni and mostly fight in battles."

     I filled my saddle bags with my provisions and clothes and attached them to the side of the saddle. I mounted Raindash and Tal mounted the shadow Uni.

     "I'm called Shadowlance if you're wondering," said the shadow Uni.

     "Nice to meet you."

     Tal led us out of the tunnel and on to the open plains. It was so dark that I couldn't see a thing except for Tal's orange figure.

     "Here," said Tal, handing me a pair of goggles. "They're bewitched to see through this darkness. Put them on."

     I put on the goggles. Everything went from a vivid black to a dark green. I could see Torono's looming tower to the west and the forest to the north. I could see shrubs on the plains and the towering trees of Azlan behind me.

     "Just follow me," said Tal. "You need to guide Raindash with your reigns and knees. You can tell her want you want her to do, also. Just hang on, and she will follow me. LET'S RIDE!" Tal gave a whooping cry and we rode off as I clung on for dear life.

     We rode at that speed for about an hour before we slowed down to a walk. It was still dark.

     "Why'd we slow down?" I asked Tal.

     "We're entering the Grarrl's Teeth," answered Tal.

     "What's that?"

     "Big sharp rocks. Thousands of them. Hang onto Raindash's reigns. You don't want to fall off."

     "Couldn't we just take a detour around the Grarrl's Teeth?"

     "It's ether we take a boring ten mile detour to go around them or we have some action and go through them."

     "Welcome to traveling with Tal," said Shadowlance. He rolled his eyes.

     "Guide Raindash with the reigns," said Tal. "She needs you."

     I steered Raindash to the left. Tal was right. There were so many rocks it looked like a sea of spikes. There were giant ones, taller then me, and tiny small ones that barely stood an inch. But they were all dangerous, large or small.

     "I think I would have preferred the ten mile detour," I grumbled.

     We veered right. I looked down. Out from behind a rock slithered a Cobrall. As Raindash's front right foot touched the ground the Cobrall sunk it's fangs into her ankle before I could warn her.

     "Ahh!" Raindash let out a cry and reared up. I was thrown from her back. My head hit a rock and I blacked out.

     ************************************************************************

     I awoke next to Raindash. A roaring fire was a few feet away from me, even though I could see the bright orange of the sunrise. My head was aching so badly I almost passed out again. My sight was blurry. I could see an orange form off in the distance that I assumed was Tal. It came closer. "How are you feeling?" It was Tal. I recognized the voice.

     "I can't see very well," I said dazed. "I'm very dizzy too."

     "Lie down, it will help. You're lucky to be alive."

     "Won't that fire be picked up?" I asked.

     "No, I shielded it with magic. Nobody can see it unless they're within a few yards."

     Tal walked over to his pack and took out a root. He broke some of off and handed it to me.

     "It will help stop the dizziness. Chew and swallow."

     I stuck the root in my mouth and began to chew it. It was tough and tasteless. I swallowed it with trouble. My mouth was dry.

     "Where's my water bottle?" Tal grabbed the bottle from my pack and handed it too me.

     "So where are we?" I asked Tal after I finished drinking. "And how long was I out?"

     "When you fell off, you hit one of the duller rocks, so instead of splitting your head open you merely had a concussion. Raindash is okay. Cobrall bites aren't very poisonous so I was able to treat it right there. I pulled you on top of Raindash and we rode for a couple hours and then stopped here as it was starting to get light and we were tired. You woke shortly after that. As for where we are, we're somewhere near the forest of Kilay." I nodded and fell back to sleep.

     ************************************************************************

     Out of the three assassins that Torono dispatched, only one remained. One was in an Azlan prison, the other was dead. The last, a Shadow Zafara by the name of Jak, saw the forms of Tal and me fleeing from Azlan. Jak was as black as night and was know as The Living Shadow. He figured he would do Torono a greater favor be destroying us. He knew that one of those forms was Tal, a mage that he had long hated. The other form he guessed was an apprentice. He would eliminate Tal and his apprentice because he knew that they would be a big threat to Torono and the Shades. If they were eliminated, it would mean more then him stealing Azlan records. He knew all this because he was a dark mage, and could pick up our magic currents. He knew this because Tal was his apprentice only years before.

The End

 
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Other Episodes


» Shades of Darkness: Shadow is Arising - Part Ten
» Shades of Darkness: Shadow is Arising - Part Eleven



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