~serenity is the devil~ (ex_wishstar) wrote in cryptic_minds,
~serenity is the devil~

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Mia asked me to post my fantasy story's chapter when I was done writing it and since I finally finished it, here it is. it's kind of long, like nine page, so I don't expect anyone to really read it.

If you want to read the prologue first, it can be found at my site, in my writings section called Tierra: The Wars of Ciel and Enfer, but for now, here is chapter one.

There were sounds echoing off of the cavernous walls of the ruins, making small drops of water that came from the roofs fall down onto the floor. The echoing was produced by a hammering noise in the depths of the Aesta Ruins where the workers, no we shouldn’t even call them workers, but the slaves where excavating for something because Zorias had seized them and ordered them too. They had been in the darkness for three weeks at a time digging and digging through the endless layer of stone seeming to for no reason. They wondered if it was all a joke; if this was all meaningless. Had they done something wrong? Who knew. Some of them had even died when boulders “accidentally” collapsed, but they never knew what they had died for.

During their free time, they had gathered together and thought about starting a revolt, but the fact remained was that Zorias was just too strong. Some had said he was a Larvae from Ashtaire and that only made him more dangerous, for he was breed of hatred and cruelty. The Larvaes were demented spirits, infused with black magic and all of the rage and anger that Enfer could have possessed himself. However, they didn’t see how that was possible, since Ashtaire was taken in a battle against the continent of Ciel where all the Larvaes were destroyed.

On top of that, Zorias was young. He was only 15 and many of them doubted his strength and thought he was just boasting. However, whispers and rumors of ways he had made people scream by punishing and torturing them spread through out. Though they wanted freedom from the ruins more then anything, they did not want to find out if those rumors were true. So, they kept their mouths shut and went on digging and hammering in hopes that one day they would be perhaps let go.

It was at that time that a worker had raised his hammer and struck so deeply in frustration and anger, that he chipped stone off which revealed a bright, blue crystal deep beneath the layer of rock. It was so bright and blinding, like staring directly at the moon close up on a clear night, that he had to shield his eyes away from it. However, even that didn’t work. So, he stepped back and the light shot through a path curving around the walls, lighting up symbols and pictures with faded paint on the there which had been hidden by the darkness. It flowed like a backwards waterfall up the tunnel of the ruins sending its light into the dreary skies over the continent Mort., breaking past the storm, gray clouds. It was then that everyone stopped their work without worry of what the Namares would do to them.

The light was different from anything they had ever felt before. The aura of it was ancient and stale, but full of magic. No one dared touch the crystal, let alone get near it. It was starting to radiate a warm off and on glow around it, a humming projected from it, like the noise that of a swarm of bees would make. The air became stuffy and humid, like death was upon them, creeping down their backs with the sharp blade of his sickle. The slaves where starting to have trouble breathing, thinking, and speaking. They could only throw their voice and scream out for some one to send the ropes down for them so they could climb out of the ruins. Unmoving, the Namares stood above, still as gargoyle statues and waited, only their ears open for listening. Then suddenly, after some three hours of screaming mixed in with the sound of the crystal’s haunting humming, the ruins where filled with a dead silence and only the light remained still.


The figure in the black coat slowly crept near the circular opening on the Aesta Ruins which was just big enough to allow a grown man climb down there one at a time. The light was still shining out of the opening and he raised a hand to cover his eyes, growling a little under his breath at the first mere close up sight of it. The light was not strong, but it might give them worse consequences if they unearthed all of what was behind it. That didn’t seem to matter now though. This was what they had come here for anyway. The big thing which Zorias had said would change everything.

He looked back to the rest of the Namares who stood and watched him at the opening of the ruins. He wished he hadn’t been chosen to go down there first, but there was no other choice now. Go or die, and he was sworn in an oath to serve Zorias and the other Namares. The only thing he ever remembered about his life was his oath and that seemed like the most important thing.

He walked to the rope but did not touch it or grab onto it to climb down. Instead, he stepped over the edge of the opening and fell down without a care in the world about how long the drop was. He hit the sides of the cavern’s walls and banged the back of his head against the jagged peaks protruding out, but it did not hurt him one bit. He laughed slightly as he dropped onto the ground, his body crumbling up on impact like a thrown away doll. For a minute, his body did not move, but then it slowly sprung up in a waving motion, like a snake, and he was on his feet again.

The privilege of being a Namare was that they never had to worry about being hurt by things like falling or drowning. They could be killed if perhaps their head was decapitated, but not like this. They were already dead after all. Lifeless zombies resurrected by Zorias to carry out a mission which they did not care what it was about. They only cared to do it. To please Zorias.

His feet were a bit shaky at first, but then after walking a couple awkward steps, he was fine. He stepped out of the path of the light avoiding it at all costs. Even if the lack of air had killed all the slaves, he did not need it in the first place. Zombies did not need to breath and so the Namares were fine going down into the ruins.

It was quiet, except for the sound of the light vibrating in the air. He assumed all the slaves had perished, not like they had ever mattered at all to anyone. He could do without this light though, and so he sped up somewhat quicker, wrapping his cloak around him, shielding the light away more. Though the Namares where quite powerful and had conquered over small neighboring villages in Mort already, there was something eerie and troubling about the light, more then them. To have that impact on a lifeless zombie, the creature new it was something different.

His feet seemed to float off the ground as he stepped over the bodies. His empty eyes, sunk back into the hollows of his pale cheek bones, traveled down to the length of the corpses as he walked. Yes, they were all dead, and he snickered in mock satisfaction. That was less they would have to kill later now that the crystal did all the work it seemed. Perhaps Zorias had known about this source of power and had wanted to bring in to their side.

He stepped up to the cavern wall where the source of the light was shinning the brightest. He wanted to make the light end, to stop it, but what was it? And then suddenly, the crystal crashed and broke through the wall. It was bigger then he had expected, about thirty feet high, but he didn’t see much of it at all. When it broke off, it broke with such a force that rocks flew off everywhere, large pieces pummeling at the Namare. One exceptionally large piece flew at the Namare and sliced right through his neck and already rotting skin. His head fell to the ground, what was left of it looking like a deflated balloon, and the crystal creaked eerily then crashed to the ground on top of the zombie’s body, breaking into pieces, shards flying everywhere.

After the shards where imbedded all over on the walls and the dead bodies, the crystal’s light finally vanished and a man appeared laying from where the center of the crystal would have been. There were parts of the crystal pierced into his pale, naked skin as well, but he did not draw a breath or move a muscle. Not yet at least. It would take him some motivation, something his soul had been yearning for since he was trapped in the confines of the crystal.


Zorias never knelt down in his entire life, not once as far as he could remember anyway. To him, kneeling down was like bowing to a king or queen and he was above them, higher then them. To accidentally kneel down while an unknown king or queen was around, well he would have to kill them for what they saw. Not that he would mind the bloodshed at all. On the contrary, it made me quiet happy. However, when the light flashed and faded away that was reaching into the skies above Mort, he knelt down in front of the ruin’s entrance to listen.

In the moment he knelt down after the light vanished, he heard nothing again and the Namare he sent had not come back yet. So what was going on? Before the light had vanished, the ground above them had rumbled and shook some and a loud sound like thunder could be heard from below. As if something had cracked and fell.

Zorias stood up and raised a hand slightly over his shoulder, saying nothing as he waved his fingers slightly, motioning for a Namare to come to him. It came up obediently and ghost like behind his shoulders and pulled a small scroll out from the sleeve of its cloak, leaving the shadows of the fabric and entering in Zorias’ pale hand. Zorias took it and pulled his hand in front of him opening the scroll and scanning over the words.

The words he didn’t even know himself, but they looked ancient. They had found the scroll a couple days ago at the Aesta Ruins and from that moment he could feel there was more here. More with the scroll hidden below the ground. He knew it when the workers had stopped mining and when the Namare he sent had not come back up, and especially when the light flew up into the clouds.

It was finally time. This was something sent from Enfer. Zorias snickered in satisfaction. Finally, all his studies as a Necromancer, a resurrector of the dead, was going to pay off. He would accomplish his plans destroying the continent of Nais and then taking over Milieu and Mort. The world would surely be his and they would kneel to him without question. No one would dare stand up to him or his army of lifeless zombies, the Namares.

“Let us get this over with,” Zorias said handing the scroll back behind his shoulder to the Namare who still stood there. He then turned quickly, the metal soles of his boots digging a hole in the earth, and pointed to a group of Namares. “You three, go before me. If anything happens, I am not going to be the one to be destroyed first.”

With that, he stepped away from the opening of the ruins and the three Namares floated to the circle and fell down into the darkness. One by one, Zorias heard them crash onto the floor below and their decaying skin creak like leather as they got back up. After he was sure, he grabbed the twined rope and started to climb down the ruins entrance, almost sliding down the rope elegantly. His feet soon touched the floor and he stood straight, letting go of the rope and urged the Namares forward into the depths of the cave.

As he followed the shadow trails through the cave, he narrowed his all white eyes adjusting them too the darkness, in which they adapted, letting him see in the dark. After a few feet, he came in contact with the dead bodies of the workers and around him the walls started to light up with rays of blue light. He looked around him and saw tiny crystals stuck into the cavern, still glowing faintly. By the time he dropped his head to look away from them, he nearly ran into the back of a Namare from not paying attention. Angered, he reached up and grabbed the cloak it wore tugging on it quickly, brining the Namare down to his eye level.

“Something wrong?” he growled.

“There... is a man...,” it answered in a voice that smelled like death.

“A man? There are hundred of dead men around us. Get out of my way, idiot,” Zorias added dismissively pushing the Namare to the side like a broken toy.

He was not prepared for the sight in front of him though and there was something very eerie about it. He peered down at the floor, for there was a man laying on shards of that blue crystal, breathing slightly, not clothed. He wasn’t one of the workers for sure. So, who was he, and what were these shards that were all over the place.

Zorias turned his head for a moment and looked to the left towards the ground. There, another Namare was leaning over the one he had sent down here, checking to see if it was still alive. It was very much dead. His head was laying a few feet from his body, maggots and beetles gathering in the blue and purple flesh of the zombie.

“Leave it alone,” Zorias ordered. “It is already gone.”

Before he was about to open his mouth and add some other insulting comment, he heard a load groan or sigh from the direction of where the man was and quickly turned his gaze that way, lowering his eyes. The man moved his arms forward, pushing himself up some as his head lowered slightly towards the ground, his long, ebony hair touching the cavern floor. He started to laugh and before he stood he mumbled out through a cough, trying to get his throat clear, “Finally... the crystal which has encased me for so long is destroyed... I thank you, but which ever one of you holds that scroll of mine, I would like it back... Now.”

Zorias raised a thin brow letting his eyes run down the length of the man studying him, wondering who he was to tell him to do anything. Here this naked man was going to tell him, the leader of the Namares and most feared man on Mort, to hand over the scroll he had found. This was some joke.

“I can assure you I will do no such thing,” Zorias said calmly. “Now get up and tell me which slave you are?”

“Slave?” the man said pushing himself up some more so he was now sitting on his knees. “I have been called many things, but not a slave, especially not by a mere child...” With another push, them man was up, standing in front of them, his arms still at his sides. “You must have a very strong aura of bravery.”

“Tell me about it,” Zorias said rolling his eyes.

After Zorias rolled his eyes at him in a mocking manner, his gaze slid back to him and the man grinned so deviously at him, that even Zorias had to stop all movement and think about it for a moment. Something was not right about this man. Maybe he should not have judged to quickly for once... Maybe he was not a slave playing a joke.

“Who are you...?” Zorias asked finally again, lowering the tone of his voice some.

“Hand me the scroll first,” he answered.

“Not a chance. What makes you think you are worthy of something that is going to lead us to the power of Enfer...?” Zorias growled.

The man laughed, tilting his head back some, closing his eyes away from the top of the cavern. “Oh, so you found that scroll. I did not think you could read the language it was in.”

“How did you know it was in a different language?” Zorias said a brow arching once again in question.

“Because it is mine,” the man hissed dropping his head to look at Zorias. “And I am taking it back now.”

With that, the man raised his hand and in an instant the scroll flew from the Namare’s robes it was in and landed in his hand. He smiled and Zorias reached to his side, grabbing the handle of his chain whip, thinking if this man wanted to play, well he could do games as well. The man held up his hand and smiled softly.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” he said as he opened the scroll.

Zorias’ hand tightened around the handle of his weapon for a moment before releasing his grip and backing down. Zorias couldn’t understand what had made him back down, but he did, and now he felt weak under the watchful eye of this man.

“Very, very good,” the man said as he uncurled the scroll. His eyes gleefully scanned across the letters. “The scroll of Aries... Enfer’s heart. So, they have followed me... and this is where it will start. On this cursed planet.”


“I can’t believe I followed you all this way to here... to Mort! This is so insane!” the elf called out as he jumped over a wall of rocks, landing poised on his feet in a cat like manner. He looked up quickly, his light brown hair framing his elegant face. Something was wrong. He turned his head, narrowing his eyes looking from side to side. “Now where did you go?!”

“Up here! You’re not supposed to be jumping over the wall, but up on it!” a voice shouted from above.

The elf turned his head quickly up at the wall and groaned. With another leap, he jumped at the top of the wall, grabbing the edge and pulling himself up. When he was up, he brushed himself off and looked at the Sha ahead of him. The Sha were a race of people with ears, tails, and tongues of a cat, but bodies of humans. He shook his head slowly for a moment thinking being a Sha must have given him the agility and reflexes of a cat.

“Arith...,” the elf started.

“No time to chat!” Arith quickly said back, cutting the elf off. “Come on! There’s something going on down here in the Aesta Ruins and I want to find out! It’s all about treasure!”

“Treasure! What about your life!?” the elf blinked and with that he started across the high wall after the Sha, Arith.

Arith didn’t even reply but ran to the end of the wall and came to a quick stop, looking down, his cat ears folded slightly around head. His nose twitched a little as he smelled the air, trying to get some idea what was down in the Aesta Ruins. There was another entrance to the ruins besides this one, but that one was being guarded by a group they heard of called the Namares.

At that time, the elf, whose name was Kes, had ran up behind him and stopped, looming over Arith as he looked down at the entrance way. They were both adventurers, or mercenaries, and not to mention best friends, but Kes couldn’t help worry about Arith. The reason they were even on Mort was because Arith owed a debt to some one and had to pay him in profit of treasure. So, when they were on an air ship (flying boats) and they saw that bright light in the sky, Arith was the first to make a stop to go, and of course Kes followed him. How could he not? After all, Arith did have a wife and child, so Kes really didn’t want anything to happen to him for the sake of their well being too.

“What do you think is down there?” Arith grinned, his tail swaying excitedly back and fourth behind him.

“Must we find out? Arith, let’s go somewhere else?” Kes suggested quickly.

“Ahhh but... well, what happened if I...,” Arith began standing on the edge of the wall and looking back at Kes with a smirk, “fell off this wall and down into that entrance way on accident!?”

“Arith!” Kes growled, but before he could do anything or reach out to grab and stop him, Arith jumped behind and into the entrance of the ruins, disappearing into the darkness. “What am I going to do with you...?” Kes whispered to himself, resting a hand on his brow as he shook his forehead slowly.

After that, Kes jumped down onto the ground of the wall and kneeled next to the entrance way that led to the underground Aesta Ruins. Being more careful then Arith, he grabbed the edges of the sides and climbed his way down. Thoughts ran through his head about how Arith had carelessly jumped down here, not knowing what he was landing in at all. He could have gotten killed or hurt, but that Sha just seemed to have more then nine lives and exceptional luck.

The walls of the entrance tunnel where made out of the same stone and dirt material that the cavern was made of, so some parts stuck out and were jagged, which did give Kes something to grab onto, making it easier to climb down. Finally, he felt the soles of his suede boots touch the ground and he let go of the sides looking around.

His eyes adjusted to the darkness of the cavern, but it wasn’t as dark as he had expected. There was some soft, shining blue light coming from somewhere below the rock platform they were at. Ahead of him, he saw Arith looking over the edge, laying down on his stomach, almost as if trying not to be seen.

Kes then got down and crawled over next to him raising his head slightly only to look over the edge of the platform. Down below was a lower area of the cavern. There seemed to be the blue light in shards of crystal stuck in the wall everywhere. More importantly, there were people down here: a handful of dead bodies, three Namares, a blonde haired guy, and another guy who was naked.

“Who do you think they are...?” Kes asked leaning over to whisper at Arith. Being an elf and Arith a Sha, they didn’t have to speak loud to hear each other. The both had naturally good hearing. “And why have all these people died...?”

“I don’t know...,” Arith replied softly. “But that blonde haired guy is standing close to the Namares, so I guess he is their leader. The dead bodies... they’re dressed like workers or slaves, but who knows why they perished. As for the naked guy... well hey, let’s just listen in on them...”

“On this cursed planet...?” Zorias asked. “And what exactly do you mean by that.? Do you have some connection to these scrolls?”

“Oh yes, I have a connection to everything here... This planet. If I was around before, it would not have become so cursed, but now, I am back and alive. My powers will regenerate and it will all be mine. Every breath, hope, and dream will be brought to me on a silver platter,” the man said softly with a smile as his eyes gazed over the scroll with a type of longing. “Aries... oh Aries, where are your brothers and sisters?”

Just then, Kes and Arith both looked at each other and nodded. “Didn’t you find some scrolls like that...?” Kes asked.

“Yeah... five of them. I wonder...,” Arith said biting his lower lip in thought for a moment, but he was then cut off.

“That’s enough!” Zorias shouted. “I do not know who you think you are... but that scroll belongs to me and it is going to lead me to a greater purpose, not you! Enfer has given it to me to take over these wretched lands. I am going to be the leader here.”

“My dear boy...,” the man said walking forward towards Zorias, his arm reaching outward. Suddenly, Zorias was paralyzed and could not get his feet to move to defend himself. He felt glued to the ground, like some had nailed his feet into stones. The man swiftly reached up and grabbed Zorias’ chin hard with his fingers, holding his head so that he may gaze into Zorias’ cold, white eyes. The man just smiled and nodded, “these scrolls do not belong to Enfer, but they belong to me. You and your army are going to assist me now, correct?”

His vision burned into Zorias for a moment and Zorias’ mouth opened slowly as if to say something or protest. The man moved Zorias’ chin in nodding manner and then dropped his hand slowly. The whole time the man had been grinning pleasantly, as if this were easy for him.

“Yes...,” Zorias said softly. “We’ll find the scrolls... master. Do not fear.”

“Ahhh, that is what I thought,” the man said with a snicker. “Now then, I am not to fond of the ‘master’ thing. I want you to call me T’senai, for that is my name. So, then, what is it we must do again?”

“Find the scrolls,” Zorias said blankly.

The man smiled, his fingers wiggling some what in satisfaction. He still had the feeling in his fingertips of that beautiful magic, the one which can control. Who better to run into and use it on first again then this boy who obviously had some power on the continent? Maybe things would be easier.

“Very good. You learn quickly,” T’senai answered. “Now then, I would liked to leave this cavern and find some clothing. We are wasting valuable time.”

“You are very right,” Zorias said his face a bit more serious now. With that, he turned quickly and pointed to the Namares and waved his hand, ordering them in a circle around T’senai to protect him and guide him out.

Arith and Kes watched above as the Namares and T’senai left the lower levels of the cavern. At that moment, Zorias looked up in their direction as if he had heard something and gazed slowly around the area, his eyebrows narrowing down into a point. Kes started to back away and Arith was about to, but just then Zorias had spotted him.

“Spies...!” Zorias growled loudly.

“Oh hell,” Arith groaned and he was up on his feet quickly, kicking up some dust, heading towards the entrance in a run. Kes followed right after him and Zorias headed to the main entrance in a run to catch up with the two.

“See! I knew this would happen!” Kes yelled as he climbed quickly up the entrance after Arith.

After the climb, he grabbed the edge of the sides of the opening and looked around to find Arith. Arith was behind him and heading back to the hidden spot in the near by forest where they had docked the air ship. Kes quickly got out, but before he could get away, his feet seemed to be brought together and he fell forward on his face. He looked back to see it was that blonde haired guy. He had taken out his whip, caught up with him, and seized an unexpected Kes.

Kes cursed at himself because there was no way he could reach for his weapon, his bow and arrows, because he was knocked down and caught unaware. He could never set and arrow now. Just when things didn’t look to good, Arith came back with his sword unsheathed and ran at Zorias. Zorias didn’t look up at time and Arith slashed upward under the chain, knocking the whip off of Kes.

At that moment, Kes flipped back up after the chain whip recoiled from his ankles and reached behind for his bow and arrow. He loaded to arrow quickly on the string and pulled back tight enough, then released. His arrow sailed into the wind, cutting through it as it landed, puncturing the skin on Zorias’ left arm.

Zorias dropped his whip with a growl and reached for the arrow, not hesitating to pull it quickly out. He dropped the arrow with the bleeding tip on the ground and Kes moved back away from him as Arith was getting ready to step forward and attack again. Kes quickly grabbed Arith’s shoulder and pulled him to a stop.

“No,” Kes warned. “If the Namares were to see, they would come after us.”

“That’s right,” Zorias laughed. “So, don’t even try and get away. They’ll be here any minute.”

“Not so fast. Don’t think you’re so clever,” Kes said. “These arrows have poisoned tips. I know you certainly can’t heal, so you better go back and get help. Within twenty minutes you’ll be passed out, fighting for your life. So, I suggest you not worry about us and what we were doing down there in the Aesta Ruins.”

Zorias waited in silent contemplation for a moment, wondering if the elf was telling the truth. The wind and time seemed to move slowly as no words were exchanged between them all. Then Zorias groaned softly and struggled out a breath as he reached out for his arm and tightly gripped the spot where he had been shot. He lowered his head, clenching his teeth for a moment, and then looked up at both of them.

“Go now, before I kill you both,” Zorias said seething with hatred.

With that, Kes left before Arith this time, heading back towards the forest. Arith glared at Zorias one last time, as he sheathed his sword. Before Arith could turn to go away, Zorias shouted out something.

“Know this Sha... I am one of the Larvae. If you ever cross my path, or one of your kind for that matter, I will make you suffer in unimaginable ways!”

Arith looked at him slowly, tilting his head slightly as if almost in question. There was something so dangerous about his words. Normally, a threat like that wouldn’t have scared Arith. However, this was different. He thought that the Larvaes where dead? Should he stay and finish this last one off?

No, he thought, not today. Go home, before it’s too late.

With that, he sharply turned his vision away from Zorias and ran after Kes, following him to the edge of the forest where he waited. He couldn’t have believed he ran away from a fight and an enemy, but something told him that if he had tried to end the life of a Larvae, he would not see Kes, his wife, or son ever again. His 23 years would be washed down the drain. Suddenly, in that moment as he ran to meet up with Kes, he didn’t find treasure hunting so valuable anymore.


Kes only waited for Arith to reach the edge of the forest and when he finally did, he started up running again back to the air ship spot, wanting to get out of Mort as quickly as possible. Arith followed behind Kes, since Kes knew the forests better then him and the way around them. Kes had a keen sense to talk and listen to nature easily and ask it which ways to go. No matter where he was, the forests would always answer him. He was the middle class, a simple elf. The high elves in Nais could not talk to the forests in Mort and the dark elves in Mort could not talk to the forests in Nais, so this was certainly a advantage Kes had over them. However, despite this, normal elves weren’t as strong as the other classes and so the other elves usually mocked him. Even other races for that matter had laughed at him. This mainly occurred on Mort and Nais though, not on Milieu. No one cared on Milieu, the neutral continent. However, on Mort and Nais, you were either on or the other, not just an elf. If you so happened to be good on Mort, you were killed. The same thing with Nais, but this was just the way things worked these days. People were so bent on waging war and winning. Nais wanted to purify the lands, while Mort wanted to bring back Enfer and kill everything that was a being of Ciel and Nais. It seemed so pointless sometimes to Kes. He just wished he could have let his life be without the talk of war day in and day out. However, that mere thought made him wonder if his adventuring days were over, because he didn’t want anything to do with anyone.

Before he could dwell on it any longer, the forest called out for him to stop and he did so, quickly and easily. Arith came up behind him and looked ahead. They had made it back to the air ship landing. It was a spot in the forest where the tree had been cut out in a circle for some reason, giving just enough space for an air ship to land.

The air ship was used by grouped of adventurers who needed to go to places to do their works. It was a pretty cheap service and the people knew Kes and Arith well, so sometimes they got on free. The crew of the ships were often adventurers themselves, so they didn’t mind going to Mort. The were daring and at the same time very stealth.

A man up top on the deck of the ship waved, getting their attention and greeted them. They both turned their heads and nodded back to him. The wind seemed to be picking up, rustling the leaves in the trees, and the moon was creeping out of the clouds, glowing yellow in now pitch black skies of Mort.

“Ready to go Arith and Kes?” the man called.

“Yes, we have to get out of here as soon as possible,” Kes nodded in reply.

“Run into some trouble while getting treasure? You don’t look like you brought anything back,” the man added.

“You could say that,” Arith grumbled.

The man shrugged lightly, not making anything else out of it, and then turned. Soon after, a rope ladder was lowered and Arith and Kes climbed up onto the ship’s deck. When everything was clear and everyone was on the ship, the large propellers powered by a steam engine, located on the bottom and top of the ship, started up and slowly lifted off into the sky.

Kes and Arith both walked over to the edge of the skip and looked over the railing as it lifted away. From there, they could not see the Namares anymore, nor Zorias or the guy T’senai. It seemed like they would make safe passage back home. However, there was something bothering Arith and just then, seeming to read his thoughts, Kes asked him a question.

“What are you going to do with the scrolls... if they are the same ones those people are now looking for?”

“I don’t know,” Arith said shaking his head slowly. “I don’t want to make the wrong choice...”

With that, Arith stared out into the sky, his thoughts wandering, and it had never seemed so endless.

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