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The Emperor and the hourglass
Writer Barbara
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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The Emperor and the hourglass
A - A - A
Chapter Four Nightfall's battle.
Jan 15, 2018
13 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!amAISh4jJGsWEWdjxno8posted on PENANA

This outburst brings Kage bursting into the room asking, “What’s wrong?”copyright protection62PENANAe1RAqXbKiU

The Dreamer holds out the book and says, “Sorry. Take a look.”copyright protection62PENANAPthpc9Hgsq

The Grey Dragon takes a seat next to him, then takes hold of the book and says, “Oh my goodness, poor Gonijō.”copyright protection62PENANAXVmBRzUpXi

   “I am going to have to run a test on him, to find out how long he has got left, so he can prepare for his son to take over.”copyright protection62PENANAxbkoLKlXuE

Kage rubs the back of his neck and says, “He is a bit young.”copyright protection62PENANASj89JliqCL

   “I know... But what can we do? His sister is far too young.”copyright protection62PENANAQzGcbyM5XJ

   “You’re right. Are you going to run the test now?”copyright protection62PENANAouUITGsfEX

Gaylin nods, he picks up a dark blue velvet bag and walks out of the room along with the Grey Dragon.copyright protection62PENANAUwg3G0oYq0

They find the emperor fast asleep on his back, without making a sound Gaylin removes four stones from the bag, he places one on the man’s forehead, chest and left hand. He then holds the last one in the palm of his left hand.copyright protection62PENANAKhArtLZfRX

Gonijō is soon awaken by a warm session on his chest, he opens his eyes to see a shape is sitting next to him. “Who’s there?” he asks, straining his eyes to see through the dimness.copyright protection62PENANAZfrUXlBqBf

   “Sorry it’s me, Gaylin. Please try to lie still, I am almost done.”copyright protection62PENANAnvMEysEXr5

   “What? And why is my chest feeling oddly warm?”copyright protection62PENANAYbmyCPkC5b

   “It’s the crystal I have placed there... Just hold on a little longer, I am nearly done.”copyright protection62PENANAz5r1ZpnAPY

The emperor does as the Dreamer tells him and it is not long before he removes the warm thing from his chest.copyright protection62PENANAQctDR25vZx

Gaylin sighs and says in his own language, “I don’t know how to tell him.”copyright protection62PENANABXJXwlNRYS

   “How many years does he have left?” comes Kage’s voice out of the gloom.copyright protection62PENANA2xXtzXSWyI

   “The same as in the book.”copyright protection62PENANAUpVo2Mr8ir

   “Don’t worry I will tell him.”copyright protection62PENANAFTpoRVKEMI

   “Thanks.”copyright protection62PENANAwPgujPscM0

The Grey Dragon goes on to inform Gonijō who sits up and gasps, “What?!”copyright protection62PENANAUGpQ5sDwAV

   “I’m so sorry. Now you know how they got the names Time stealer, Devour of souls.”copyright protection62PENANAXfPnEGiok5

   “I take it there is no way to retrieve what has been taken?”copyright protection62PENANA7RVnmedOqZ

   “I’m afraid I do not know as my great grandmother has never mentioned it,” replies Gaylin, sounding a little disappointed.copyright protection62PENANAPlGfbMHOih

The emperor lights a lamp, he points at the Dreamer's ample size bosom and quickly says, “Sorry I do not mean your chest... I mean the feather, would he know?”copyright protection62PENANAKgxADbhWAC

Gaylin emits a soft giggle and replies, “It’s all right. And to be honest I don’t know. I will try asking and see if he comes.”copyright protection62PENANA2ItX5QbiEC

   “I think he will as it is a perfectly reasonable request.”copyright protection62PENANAiuXYJ9KqY3

   “Too right Kage. Here it goes,” says Gaylin as he takes hold of the feather and asks in his own language, “Nightfall, are we able to restore this mortals life?”copyright protection62PENANAIJkfkYrBU2

   “I do not know, my son, for I have never tried,” comes the guardian’s deep voice within the Dreamer’s mind. “But I am willing to have a go, mainly to see if it is possible.”copyright protection62PENANAdXKGUPw68b

   “All right, just be careful.”copyright protection62PENANAIrFGppQaPP

   “Don’t you worry, I be extra careful. See you in a bit.”copyright protection62PENANAexyyNSwetr

Gaylin takes a moment to explain to the emperor what is happening and he too hopes the guardian is successful.copyright protection62PENANAgHp0njQUpZ

The Dreamer bows his head and says, “I’m sorry.”copyright protection62PENANA68qMOQbF01

   “No, no, I should be the one apologising as I was a fool to believe that demon and now I have paid the ultimate price. I am going to make sure I live the next five years to the fullest and hopefully be the best emperor ever.”copyright protection62PENANAuey3NlVkAp

Kage gives him a pat on the shoulder and says, “Bless you. And we will do out best to help you to make those five years the best.”copyright protection62PENANALR6aRuuIpU

Gonijō performs a seated bow, then lies down and closes his eyes.copyright protection62PENANAIw28iRYuwZ

Gaylin pats him on the shoulder and says, “That’s it you get back to sleep and see you in a bit.”copyright protection62PENANAv1e441p0l0

The Grey Dragon holds out his left hand and the moment he makes a fist the candle inside the lamp goes out.copyright protection62PENANAp7RwiJ1Mrq

   “Showoff,” whispers Gaylin.copyright protection62PENANAH9XJifBhK8

   “I know it’s terrible,” whispers Kage.copyright protection62PENANAhf9vjewJeS

They both walk out of the room and head back to the guest quarts to try and get a little more sleep.copyright protection62PENANAJEZAbhjc4L

Meanwhile, in the other realm, Nightfall approaches the Time Stealers and demands them to return to him the mortal's soul.copyright protection62PENANADLVAvdQ7vA

They laugh at him and say in unison, "You won't be able to take it from us."copyright protection62PENANAfMPpi9DPSR

Then they draw their daggers and lunge at him.copyright protection62PENANAHBwHcHZvT3

The guardian's axe suddenly appears in front of him and the blades clatter against the handle.copyright protection62PENANAgxPc7lqXsV

This only makes the Time Stealers more determined, they split up to come at him from both sides, only to be stopped again by his axe.copyright protection62PENANAyHIn71wKQp

A shockwave from the axe pushes them away and Nightfall says in a firm voice, "This is futile, you both might as well give up as you cannot defeat me."copyright protection62PENANACx08ecQdIJ

Both women scream then they vanish and the next thing the guardian feels is a sharp pain in his left side, he looks down to see the black mist woman's hand have plunged the blade of her dagger deep into his ribs. He places his hand around her throat, lifting her into the air and throws her a good five to six feet away. But before he can pull the dagger out the white woman lunges at him, the tip of the blade cuts his left cheek.copyright protection62PENANAhZh7bosCmU

This brings his axe down between them and the shockwave sends her flying backwards to land a good distance away, which gives him time to pull the dagger from his side.copyright protection62PENANAxUCgiJhPu7

The Time Stealers come rushing over to the guardian just as a large white stone appears hovering above his left hand, the axe moves to float around a foot above his head and casts down a barrier they are unable to penetrate.copyright protection62PENANAe6FffUs58b

Nightfall laughs and says, "I told you both this is futile. I now entrap you both in Konton."copyright protection62PENANAPpa6xmuZYR

   "No, wait. Please anything but that," begs the black mist woman as she watches the white stone start to spin.copyright protection62PENANAUwLxN4h4TL

   "No you can't do this to us!"copyright protection62PENANAc8SSn7MQdV

   "Then you should not have taken me on in my domain."copyright protection62PENANA12lc8SyDSx

There are some flashes of lightning which hit the double blades of the axe making it glow and causes strange writing to cascade down the shield.copyright protection62PENANAuM3gkRkBWe

Nightfall starts to groan with pain, he grits his teeth as he puts out his arms to send the stone inches away from the Time Stealers, then another flash of lighting hits the blades, and this time the strange writing cascades down his arms to the stone making the two women vanish.copyright protection62PENANAn8mf1KmOAz

The guardian falls to the floor clutching his side, he watches his axe slice some mist around two feet away and out of it comes a fragment of soul.copyright protection62PENANAJCC4OKWnoO

   "Well done Ame," he whispers, quickly putting out his right hand to form a bubble around it and gently takes hold of it. "Let's head back."copyright protection62PENANAVSBZ9VQtwM

It is just light when Gaylin is awaken by Nightfall calling his real name, he rolls over on to his side to see his guardian is seated on the floor with blood dripping from his mouth.copyright protection62PENANAITV49WPwKp

   “Oh my goodness you’re hurt,” he says, crawling over to him.copyright protection62PENANA6u2IyRsvfR

Nightfall takes a deep breath, he holds up a shinning ball of light and says, “Do not worry about me... I will be all right. Place this under the emperor’s head and brake it.”copyright protection62PENANAjaJV9SQ0mn

   “It’s part of his life-force?”copyright protection62PENANAM4hI9qEYWp

The guardian nods and replies, “I have managed to get him one more year.”copyright protection62PENANAo2TrLrieWx

The Dreamer grows worried when Nightfall starts to cough and collapse onto his side.copyright protection62PENANA5gIObSH2S4

   “Let me help you?”copyright protection62PENANAqF9Hni82h5

   “No, get that to Gonijō before it starts to leak.”copyright protection62PENANArF8l6TNp7K

Gaylin strokes the side of his guardian’s face and replies, “All right, I will be as quick as I can.”copyright protection62PENANAXc0F1cxIfq

He then runs out of the room across the courtyard to enter the emperor’s bedchamber where he goes on to place the ball of light under the mortal’s head awaking him in the process.copyright protection62PENANANF6Wmtfvww

   “Stay still.”copyright protection62PENANAAXcIjjB6IJ

   “Gaylin,” whispers Gonijō, looking up at him.copyright protection62PENANAQGVRlW3TFi

   “Nightfall has been able to get you one more year... But he’s hurt... Hurt badly. I need to get back to him.”copyright protection62PENANAktXqpkUFPq

The emperor feels a sudden rush of warm air come over his face which travels down to his chest making him ask, “Was was that?”copyright protection62PENANAbqoo8HHKNq

   “You’re life-force returning to you,” replies the Dreamer, getting to his feet and runs out of the room.copyright protection62PENANAuE6pvsmzm2

Gonijō quickly follows him, as the least thing he ever wanted was Nightfall getting hurt just for him.copyright protection62PENANASGvQ7Va1A0

The moment he enters the room he performs the Kowtow and apologises.copyright protection62PENANAsMqQazxSjl

   “Bless you, there is no need for you to apologise as he knew what he was getting himself in for, however he did not anticipate them putting up such a fight to keep your life-force. Do not worry, he will heal,” says Gaylin as he rubs his guardian’s back.copyright protection62PENANAiN0pdvSA5e

Nightfall takes a few deep breaths, before he sits groaning in pain and mutters, “I will return to my world.”copyright protection62PENANACXV8N24Y4F

The Dreamer helps him to rise and replies, “All right see you in a bit.”copyright protection62PENANAYwrpmCYUui

The guardian pats him on the shoulder, however the moment he tries to swing his axe to create a portal he collapses to the ground in pain.copyright protection62PENANAgN6gcjM5US

   “Nightfall!” Gaylin calls, throwing his arms around him.copyright protection62PENANAjxPfGDiKCm

This outburst brings the the Dragons into the room and the emperor goes on to tell them what has happened.copyright protection62PENANApATQ0gtYaX

Yūichi and Kage ask if there is anything they can do to help.copyright protection62PENANAhrKnIXHv3B

The Dreamer shakes his head and replies, “He needs to get back to his realm.”copyright protection62PENANAnm9dCPQUzs

They all watch him throw out his left hand and begins to mutter an incantation.copyright protection62PENANAgZ3aP3qi2B

   “You be careful.”copyright protection62PENANAgk21HKZpg2

Gaylin nods and asks, “Is that big enough?”copyright protection62PENANA1DpaQ1ZHVz

Nightfall nods, he starts to crawl towards the portal and says, “Do not worry, I will close it from the other side.”copyright protection62PENANA9cydmohMHj

   “All right. See you later.”copyright protection62PENANAnXEqZlbYLr

The guardian nods then disappears into the portal and a few seconds later it closes behind him.copyright protection62PENANA0M4qXVrXCm

Gaylin clutches the feather to his chest and hopes Nightfall recovers quickly.copyright protection62PENANAxMz5ZVugIb

Yūichi gives the Dreamer a hug and asks, “Are you all right?”copyright protection62PENANAA59ev8AG7l

   “I’m fine. I know he’s going to be all right... But that does not stop me worrying until he has return.”copyright protection62PENANA888dy68Z3L

   “That’s perfectly understandable, dear boy.”copyright protection62PENANAmAxVGwRaNz

Kage folds his arms and says, “I still cannot believe they attacked an ancient.”copyright protection62PENANAmnEwCaFcRM

Gaylin looks to the wall where he opened the portal and replies, “He knew what he was getting himself in for. They put up quite a fight to keep what little life-force they had left. Nightfall is just sorry he could not retrieve more.”copyright protection62PENANAyZVHdtNltR

Gonijō shakes his head, he throws a hand to his chest and says, “I think he did well to retrieve what he did. I am so thankful.”copyright protection62PENANA6QsEL8aDjY

   “I think I can speak for him, no problem as it is my job,” replies the Dreamer, winking his left eye.copyright protection62PENANAcFlRcX2RaT

The emperor performs a deep bow and asks, “Would he accept a gift?”copyright protection62PENANAEITzq62esw

Gaylin’s expression turns to one of puzzlement or confusion and he asks, “Gift? Why do you feel the need to do that? When Nightfall is not of this world.”copyright protection62PENANA5zmxd8GoLZ

   “I know, but he did help me. I would very much like to give him something in return.”copyright protection62PENANAmYFHPRFSIQ

   “I understand. He likes tea.”copyright protection62PENANAMmyFWZMYdf

Gonijō smiles and says, “That’s easy. I will give him the finest blend I have.”copyright protection62PENANAviORQ10wqM

   “I’m sure he will enjoy it,” replies Gaylin as he starts to rub the fingertips of his left hand across his forehead and sighs.copyright protection62PENANAvMKbuA2asL

Yūichi gently picks him up and whispers, “You need to rest.”copyright protection62PENANA0e7yU4yH2L

All the Dreamer manages is a nod.copyright protection62PENANAWy4LpUMqqd

Kage lends down and whispers, “Bless him, he’s dropped off.”copyright protection62PENANAcWZW7txaD0

Yūichi walks over to the futon, he kneels down and gently puts Gaylin to bed, then leaves the room along with Kage and Gonijō sliding to door closed behind him.copyright protection62PENANAVDe3c97LQa

It is nearly lunch time when the Dreamer awakens to find himself in the arms of his guardian.copyright protection62PENANAwNIAy8vlyW

   “Morning my son. See I’m all right.”copyright protection62PENANAyKSyH02eaF

Gaylin sits up turning around to face him, he notices there is still a small wound upon his left check, that looks a little inflamed, this makes him gently place his hand around it and asks, “Does that hurt?”copyright protection62PENANAe6jt9wDghu

Nightfall places his hand on top and replies, “No, it just looks worse than it is. Trust me, by the time you see me again it will be gone.”copyright protection62PENANArOh9pQiUbQ

   “I hope so,” says the Dreamer, giving him a hug which causes him to release a soft moan of pain. He quickly sits back and apologising, “I’m sorry.”copyright protection62PENANARKBKiiKkxV

   “Don’t look so worried my son. I’m bound to be sore for a little while.”copyright protection62PENANA0M1kgbQTs8

   “My goodness it was some battle.”copyright protection62PENANAoTXF3mwlhH

“It sure was, but they regretted it in the end, as they should never have taken on an ancient in his own domain.”copyright protection62PENANAc9rNTK6D4D

   “What did you do?”copyright protection62PENANAz4qBoGNfAf

The guardian emits a soft laugh as he reaches inside his cloak to pull out a large white stone and says, “I entrapped them for all eternity.copyright protection62PENANAoZ9lEcIby0

Gaylin watches strange symbols upon the surface flash from orange to yellow. He points his and hand at it and asks, “They’re really in there?”copyright protection62PENANASK9kx24DG9

Nightfall nods and replies, “Something I would not like to do again in a hurry. But they left me with no choice, when they stuck the first blow.”copyright protection62PENANAhfdIRCoERZ

The Dreamer in that instance realises his guardian has potentially done something very dangerous, he takes hold of his hand and says, “I too hope you never have to it again as I don’t know what I would do without you.”copyright protection62PENANATfY3BDgjOO

Nightfall places his left arm around him and says, “I will never put my life in danger as I never, ever want to leave you, son. I will and forever be your guardian.”copyright protection62PENANAjHzs27u7La

Gaylin gives him a soft hug and whispers, “Father.”copyright protection62PENANAg2qtLh69VX

This brings a smile to the guardian’s otherwise serious expression would make anyone who saw it say he looks less frightening when he smiles or it makes him look less harsh.copyright protection62PENANA9Pd8TOM97B

This is even a rare opportunity for the Dreamer to see him smiling, he gives him a kiss on the cheek and smiles back.copyright protection62PENANAYqiyTkFnrq

Nightfall’s face returns to normal, he gently pats the side of Gaylin’s face and says, “Time to go.”copyright protection62PENANAxItYbefiob

The Dreamer helps him to rise and watches return to his realm before he heads off to the bathroom to get washed and dressed, then goes to find his family.copyright protection62PENANAfy1sHUht4o

The two Dragons have been all morning with the emperor helping him brake the news to his children and are now helping him to find ways that will bring peace and wealth to Japan. They are all pleased to see Gaylin is finally up and looking well rested.copyright protection62PENANA43PnBIIg5a

   “Afternoon, sleeping beauty,” says Yūichi, picking him up.copyright protection62PENANAHDSbC4qRmP

   “Afternoon uncle. What’s happen?” Gaylin asks, pointing his hand towards a large map that is covered in markers.copyright protection62PENANA3Cn444Zmy3

   “We have been trying to find ways to return peace to the land,” replies Kage.copyright protection62PENANAKC6A0HiIYo

The Dreamer’s head titles to one side and he says in his own language, “You’ll be lucky.”copyright protection62PENANASG2LRFPiwb

   “I know, it’s a long shot. Nonetheless we have six years in which to do it as Gonijō does not want things to stay as they are when his son takes over.”copyright protection62PENANA7AOvETAEf8

   “I understand and all we can do is try our best.”copyright protection62PENANAH0LOALwTtu

The Grey Dragon nods and goes over their plan to up the trade with China as this will bring more money in to the land which will in turn make the traders happier.copyright protection62PENANAimbl730Xlx

The plan works and five years later Japan is once again a stable country. The mortals have also begin to sort out their differences peacefully instead of turning to the sword.copyright protection62PENANA9s7XXMQxq5

In that time Gaylin has traveled to his uncle’s order on what is known today as Awaji Island where he is joined a year later by his uncle Xuě yuèliàng and together they return to the palace to discover the prince has vanished.copyright protection62PENANAG86rWGctAG

To be continued...copyright protection62PENANAXS39ebce9x

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