The City of Dusk: Chapter J
Pristontale: The City of Dusk
Chapter J - Child of the Gods
"She saved us indeed," Debhora sobbed. "No doubt about that."
"Still..." Urani muttered. "I wish there could have been a different way."
"I am sure there was," Leroy said. "But would it have been the right one?"
"How can you say that?" Debhora cried. "You are her father!"
"Actually..." Leroy sadly began, "I am not."
The party turned to him and also Kayleigh looked up from treating Tyrank's wounds.
"Me and Asa, my wife, have found Melocrie on the flanks of Goblin Hill when she was still a baby," Leroy told, and it seemed hard for him. "Of course we couldn't just turn and walk away, we had to take her in. But she was different from other babies in Ricarten. Some even thought she was a Morion. But nonetheless, we raised her as our own. The scar on her back proves all that she's not like anyone else."
"I know..." Kayleigh said thoughtfully. "That scar was shaped like a kestrel, wasn't it?"
Leroy nodded. "It was. She and Fylla grew unusually close to each other. Melocrie is an ascendant from an ancient tribe, that worshipped all falcons. The Falcorra. A small tribe it was, and barely known. But even among these people, a child was rarely born with that mark on the back. As she grew older, it gained the shape of a kestrel."
"But what does that mean?" Tyrank asked. "Then she actually was elected by the Gods?"
"Of course she was!" Dylane said. "We all felt it."
"We did," Debhora admitted.
"She was the last of the tribe," Leroy said. "I will take her home with me, in flesh or stone, and fulfill both our promises. I will make the world remember her until the day of doom."
"You should," Tyrank said quietly. "I am one who would never forgot her."
A sudden cry from Dylane broke the atmosfeer tensly. Shocked, the party turned around. At the entrance stood Yiro, wounded, weary and insane. He had cleaved Dylane in the back with his scythe.
"Dylane!" Kayleigh cried. "You..!"
"No..." Tyrank drew his axe. "This is the last dawn you shall see!"
Yiro roared a terrifying laughter and threw Dylane to the floor, whose numb body hit the cold floor below him. Debhora covered her mouth with her hands as she gasped and Urani and Leroy drew their weapons, filled with anger. Yiro raised his scythe and advanced on Tyrank, but Leroy jumped in front of him. He blocked Yiro's attack, grabbed him by the throat, swung him around and threw him hard through the air. Without intention, he threw the Koltan against Melocrie's statue, which stumbled for a moment. Yiro hit the ground and moaned loudly, as he tried to stand up again.
"No you don't!" yelled Urani and gathered his energy.
Before Yiro could attack again, he was covered in magical prison, that swirled around him and froze him completely.
"Take him out," said Tyrank disgusted.
Yiro was muttering words through clenched teeth, but nobody was paying attention. Urani guided the Koltan outside, caught behind his magical bars.
Kayleigh had already cast her healing spell over Dylane, who lay in Tyrank's arms. He moaned a bit and finally got to his feet. Tyrank grinned at him and even Kayleigh managed a smile.
For long, long miniutes no one said a word and they hardly dared to look at each other. Priston had been saved, to their great relieves. But at what cost?
Dylane looked up at Melocrie, cold in her stone, and the pain of quilt stabbed his heart again. He shook his head and looked at Leroy, who was sitting on the floor beside his daughter. Finally, Tyrank heaved a sigh and examined his axe.
"Still we will need again," he muttered and all eyes fixed on him. "The battle is over, the war is not."
"What do you mean?" asked Debhora soarly.
"We still have many curses to go, before Priston can finally be completely free," answered Tyrank, but then smiled. "We have time."
Kayleigh nodded. "She has given us time."
Eventually, Leroy sharpened his throat and stood up. "We should go see the villagers," he said. "See if they are alright."
"We should," said Tyrank.
Dylane looked up to him and wanted to speak, though he didn't know what. He watched Melocrie's statue for some final minutes, and then agreed. Kayleigh took his hand for comfort and they left Bellatra to outside, where Urani stood smirking at Yiro in his prison.
"Not so tough now, are you?" he grinned and the Koltan.
"You laugh while you can," Yiro said and noticed the others coming from the doors. "You will die in time."
"But not by your hand," said Tyrank, who came up close to him and growled.
Yiro grinned and then laughed again. "That's right... not by my hand."
"What's so funny?" Dylane demanded.
Yiro nodded his head toward the Bellatra. "That girl saved you," he grinned. "But she also sealed your doom."
"What?" Leroy stepped forward. "What do you mean by that?"
Yiro roared with laughter, and raised more anger in Dylane's heart. "Don't you know?" he roared. "Every curse begins when an other is ended. That's how the circle will go round. That Falcorra girl broke one curse and activated another. No so pretty, is it?"
"Tell us what you know!" yelled Urani and stepped forward, but Tyrank stopped him.
Yiro's laughed fainted and a smile remained. "The beast will rise."
"What...?" Tyrank's face grew pale. "You're bluffing."
"We shall see." Yiro went calm and his smile disappeared. "We shall see."
"Take him away!" Tyrank ordered and Urani quickly took his prisoner to the other side of the stairs.
"Thank you all so much," said the blacksmith, as he embraced his wife and turned to the party. "You have freed us from the Koltan's reign."
"But the curse has not been lifted," said Roldin. "Are you sure you'll be alright?"
"Of course!" answered the blacksmith and waved around at the other people. "We're tough, right? We'll be fine."
Roldin pauzed for a second and then nodded. "If you say so, I believe."
The blacksmith laughed and slapped the Lunan on the shoulder. "Just make sure no warriors come here at night," he said. "At day they are welcome. We will stay here help them if needed. After all, curse or no curse, this is our home."
"Navisko has always been a refuge through the desert, like Runen," said Cage. "You will keep this task then?"
"We will," promised the blacksmith.
"The Warpgate has been fixed," said Keira as she shuck hands and embraced the party. "Thank you so much!"
"We simply kept a promise," said Kayleigh, smiling. "Thank you, too."
"Your Figon has saved us too," said Urani to Fron. "I hope you are proud."
"I am." Fron nodded. "I really am."
"Goodbye," said Keira and sobbed. "Please visit us again!"
"Sure thing!" said Debhora and laughed.
"So this is it..." Dylane sighed and grunted. "The battle has ended."
"That Falcorra tribe..." muttered Cage. "What's the deal with that?"
"I'm not sure," said Leroy, thinking. "But they were good people for sure."
Tyrank sighed. "The thought of Melocrie will give us strength, won't it?"
The party nodded in agreement.
"I will make sure of that," promised Leroy.
The Warpgate had been set ready and an entire army made themselves ready to leave. Roldin looked around at his people and wondered how many of them had died. Then he looked at Tyrank, who was watching them closely. They would be going back to Ricarten together, together, like in old times. Roldin smiled and grabbed Tyrank's shoulder firmly. Tyrank grinned back and slapped Roldin on the back of his head.
The afternoon sun seemed warmer than ever and it washed away the fears and pains from before. Yet everyone knew that something like this could never fully disappear and the very memory would haunt them forever. But still hope had raised among the warriors. Yiro was placed under arrest and would live the rest of his life in a state worse than death. Everyone had agreed with this judgement. The many bodies were cleared from the city. Monsters were burried in great graves in the Forgotten Land, and slain warriors were taken back home.
Dylane stepped up the platform of the Warpgate, Kayleigh's hand in his, and waved at the villagers behind him. Something he could never deny, someone he could never forget. While the lights of blue and white covered him up for the journey back home, he thought one more time of Melocrie and Yiro's words: "The beast will rise." It meant nothing at the moment, nor did it matter.
"Take care," said Tyrank and kissed Keira's hand, after shaking Fron's. "Call us if you need anything."
"Thank you," said Fron and waved after him.
A terrible night it was, a beautiful dawn and a sad afternoon. Wives, husbands, sisters, brothers and children would all return to their loved ones, to catch on with the lives they missed. The battle was over, but the war was not. Not by long. A clouded future lay ahead of them, covered in a mist of mystery. But one thing was for sure:
"The wind of the Falcorra will blow at all cursed times," said Tyrank finally, as he turned to enter the Warpgate.
A little boy ran while looking behind and did not see where he was going. He stumbled over by something before him and fell down. Looking up, he could see the new statue on Ricarten square and gaped at it for a moment. Then he stood up again and ran to catch up with his friends.
A bird, a kestrel, was singing some sort of lament from high in a tree. The song wasn't just sad of beautiful, but it was both. Fylla stroke down from her safe branch and flew out into the open, watching the people moving around beneath her. After floating still in the air for a moment, she touched down on top of the statue and made herself comfortable.
The statue represented, or in fact was, a little girl. One hand hang at her side, clenched in a fist, the other was half in the air as if it had just released something. The expression on her face was heard to read, for it showed many emotions.
Fylla looked down and noticed her master coming closer. She jumped down, soared, and landed on his shoulder, while he stroke his feathers.
Melocrie stood in the middle of Ricarten square, forever caught in the moment of sacrifice, but with no will of turning back. The people considered this as a great encouragement and inspiration. A terribly hard desicion had been made, but a set mind could do anything.
Wind blows, fresh air seemed to have drawn out. Words kept repeating themselves.
"The beast will rise."
It started to move, it started to shake and started to free itself. As the sun sank lower into the sky, the Cursed Land seemed to be waking up.
"The beast will rise."
The guard of the Ancient Dungeon had no idea...
"The beast will rise."
... that something terrible was about to happen.
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