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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
312 Reads

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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!lnfzo48pX8LxXDCnqb4Zposted on PENANA

This outburst brings Kage bursting into the room asking, “What’s wrong?”copyright protection41PENANA39yRuTutth

The Dreamer holds out the book and says, “Sorry. Take a look.”copyright protection41PENANA4PFjo3owtm

The Grey Dragon takes a seat next to him, then takes hold of the book and says, “Oh my goodness, poor Gonijō.”copyright protection41PENANAFfTCSw0jI4

   “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 protection41PENANAiLeRCIL7ce

Kage rubs the back of his neck and says, “He is a bit young.”copyright protection41PENANAph44Bs8ZZB

   “I know... But what can we do? His sister is far too young.”copyright protection41PENANAlEQfhJMh3u

   “You’re right. Are you going to run the test now?”copyright protection41PENANAllfzdSiY0v

Gaylin nods, he picks up a dark blue velvet bag and walks out of the room along with the Grey Dragon.copyright protection41PENANAdpNhuoJCoI

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 protection41PENANAdKn4ZFOLWR

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 protection41PENANAgidwSqobpp

   “Sorry it’s me, Gaylin. Please try to lie still, I am almost done.”copyright protection41PENANAGCOuTiSDUg

   “What? And why is my chest feeling oddly warm?”copyright protection41PENANAm80Kd0p2Ml

   “It’s the crystal I have placed there... Just hold on a little longer, I am nearly done.”copyright protection41PENANAT2D7ywxXHX

The emperor does as the Dreamer tells him and it is not long before he removes the warm thing from his chest.copyright protection41PENANAnozbStuL7p

Gaylin sighs and says in his own language, “I don’t know how to tell him.”copyright protection41PENANA2ty2dL3DNP

   “How many years does he have left?” comes Kage’s voice out of the gloom.copyright protection41PENANAYHSCOr8mpQ

   “The same as in the book.”copyright protection41PENANAjMeTY7nsSu

   “Don’t worry I will tell him.”copyright protection41PENANARUYqXcc1PZ

   “Thanks.”copyright protection41PENANAQNHJqwazSz

The Grey Dragon goes on to inform Gonijō who sits up and gasps, “What?!”copyright protection41PENANApcmE6kLuME

   “I’m so sorry. Now you know how they got the names Time stealer, Devour of souls.”copyright protection41PENANAYEzX4x9hyY

   “I take it there is no way to retrieve what has been taken?”copyright protection41PENANAhpMY8cujLn

   “I’m afraid I do not know as my great grandmother has never mentioned it,” replies Gaylin, sounding a little disappointed.copyright protection41PENANASbAfPGzBam

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 protection41PENANAg90P65ngmV

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 protection41PENANAeDl1Ctd7NZ

   “I think he will as it is a perfectly reasonable request.”copyright protection41PENANAuGb5V1MuCX

   “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 protection41PENANAQT6RIdW6tj

   “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 protection41PENANA1IXmJzQXGD

   “All right, just be careful.”copyright protection41PENANAXbj8gfa2JM

   “Don’t you worry, I be extra careful. See you in a bit.”copyright protection41PENANAZzG6rokouN

Gaylin takes a moment to explain to the emperor what is happening and he too hopes the guardian is successful.copyright protection41PENANAHwwFTffKdW

The Dreamer bows his head and says, “I’m sorry.”copyright protection41PENANAoa7IjoXtrG

   “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 protection41PENANAgrgWxIlR6Q

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 protection41PENANAFNnbtgrI1E

Gonijō performs a seated bow, then lies down and closes his eyes.copyright protection41PENANAEpPM88b5CC

Gaylin pats him on the shoulder and says, “That’s it you get back to sleep and see you in a bit.”copyright protection41PENANAMT43PBLbtR

The Grey Dragon holds out his left hand and the moment he makes a fist the candle inside the lamp goes out.copyright protection41PENANA18Fok9FLRH

   “Showoff,” whispers Gaylin.copyright protection41PENANAqw7fjfovl1

   “I know it’s terrible,” whispers Kage.copyright protection41PENANA78UbbJNXVh

They both walk out of the room and head back to the guest quarts to try and get a little more sleep.copyright protection41PENANAPWqvlKE1ww

Meanwhile, in the other realm, Nightfall approaches the Time Stealers and demands them to return to him the mortal's soul.copyright protection41PENANAJX2Qcm5BRq

They laugh at him and say in unison, "You won't be able to take it from us."copyright protection41PENANACZywbKgYIb

Then they draw their daggers and lunge at him.copyright protection41PENANAgx8G3uqHwX

The guardian's axe suddenly appears in front of him and the blades clatter against the handle.copyright protection41PENANAdfUg57CbJt

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 protection41PENANAClsbSEW9DE

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 protection41PENANAlTcuzfZ0Wv

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 protection41PENANAXaLSqRZ22I

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 protection41PENANAwF4ZQXDN6g

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 protection41PENANArr9EVITUJQ

Nightfall laughs and says, "I told you both this is futile. I now entrap you both in Konton."copyright protection41PENANAqG0czr3zt6

   "No, wait. Please anything but that," begs the black mist woman as she watches the white stone start to spin.copyright protection41PENANAi0LmZCkDpq

   "No you can't do this to us!"copyright protection41PENANATRS3vOMoJv

   "Then you should not have taken me on in my domain."copyright protection41PENANAfacfmLHqka

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 protection41PENANAwDbi0bVkOk

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 protection41PENANALHcDKHsx6c

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 protection41PENANA2lmeBJ0i9l

   "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 protection41PENANAtFYFYYQTjE

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 protection41PENANAe4lqI68aDe

   “Oh my goodness you’re hurt,” he says, crawling over to him.copyright protection41PENANAnGAJUctVuC

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 protection41PENANAgYhfDfdt9w

   “It’s part of his life-force?”copyright protection41PENANA7nBtNjAVue

The guardian nods and replies, “I have managed to get him one more year.”copyright protection41PENANAaRUKBPW4Kr

The Dreamer grows worried when Nightfall starts to cough and collapse onto his side.copyright protection41PENANAG1qYg3euxn

   “Let me help you?”copyright protection41PENANA0FLC8yVIuq

   “No, get that to Gonijō before it starts to leak.”copyright protection41PENANAWEiRpTGmYq

Gaylin strokes the side of his guardian’s face and replies, “All right, I will be as quick as I can.”copyright protection41PENANAOFseEIiScP

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 protection41PENANAgdu1PCALl5

   “Stay still.”copyright protection41PENANAbiJu99nQvm

   “Gaylin,” whispers Gonijō, looking up at him.copyright protection41PENANAhj1JyGrQzE

   “Nightfall has been able to get you one more year... But he’s hurt... Hurt badly. I need to get back to him.”copyright protection41PENANAFQR9RHMst8

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 protection41PENANAxErh8BrwrX

   “You’re life-force returning to you,” replies the Dreamer, getting to his feet and runs out of the room.copyright protection41PENANATIgVsPBTFa

Gonijō quickly follows him, as the least thing he ever wanted was Nightfall getting hurt just for him.copyright protection41PENANAxl0puS7hlA

The moment he enters the room he performs the Kowtow and apologises.copyright protection41PENANAqTfRaosBVU

   “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 protection41PENANAzODQJ5FkYk

Nightfall takes a few deep breaths, before he sits groaning in pain and mutters, “I will return to my world.”copyright protection41PENANAvwFvWao3sJ

The Dreamer helps him to rise and replies, “All right see you in a bit.”copyright protection41PENANAETCTKNhdpc

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 protection41PENANA8Y1LOKQt5P

   “Nightfall!” Gaylin calls, throwing his arms around him.copyright protection41PENANAOAmu6iEvm7

This outburst brings the the Dragons into the room and the emperor goes on to tell them what has happened.copyright protection41PENANAf00RULFbZ5

Yūichi and Kage ask if there is anything they can do to help.copyright protection41PENANAo73pSSaJmf

The Dreamer shakes his head and replies, “He needs to get back to his realm.”copyright protection41PENANAyaQVEXejtA

They all watch him throw out his left hand and begins to mutter an incantation.copyright protection41PENANArIBrAvdfHc

   “You be careful.”copyright protection41PENANAk6jowcgGVC

Gaylin nods and asks, “Is that big enough?”copyright protection41PENANAWuNNpsKDLd

Nightfall nods, he starts to crawl towards the portal and says, “Do not worry, I will close it from the other side.”copyright protection41PENANAedVQFwlSL3

   “All right. See you later.”copyright protection41PENANA46aouGALmw

The guardian nods then disappears into the portal and a few seconds later it closes behind him.copyright protection41PENANAnj0a6pCQ3o

Gaylin clutches the feather to his chest and hopes Nightfall recovers quickly.copyright protection41PENANA4hB07hwt9i

Yūichi gives the Dreamer a hug and asks, “Are you all right?”copyright protection41PENANAxeoHDSodDK

   “I’m fine. I know he’s going to be all right... But that does not stop me worrying until he has return.”copyright protection41PENANAJ14KcaaP1d

   “That’s perfectly understandable, dear boy.”copyright protection41PENANAd5vP6D6C6g

Kage folds his arms and says, “I still cannot believe they attacked an ancient.”copyright protection41PENANAUEuim7bKlP

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 protection41PENANAv5QzQ3J0SL

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 protection41PENANAe5QJVWm2zt

   “I think I can speak for him, no problem as it is my job,” replies the Dreamer, winking his left eye.copyright protection41PENANAit8NMuVYfg

The emperor performs a deep bow and asks, “Would he accept a gift?”copyright protection41PENANANKmEkcH4dA

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 protection41PENANAPrGGaBCxEc

   “I know, but he did help me. I would very much like to give him something in return.”copyright protection41PENANA1WF9KsEFqT

   “I understand. He likes tea.”copyright protection41PENANAWeEiTZvB3I

Gonijō smiles and says, “That’s easy. I will give him the finest blend I have.”copyright protection41PENANAbSaRyktbS7

   “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 protection41PENANAoT343NwItX

Yūichi gently picks him up and whispers, “You need to rest.”copyright protection41PENANACpbgI4feFj

All the Dreamer manages is a nod.copyright protection41PENANAXQb7IKsbWk

Kage lends down and whispers, “Bless him, he’s dropped off.”copyright protection41PENANAjkemoiaV0D

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 protection41PENANASC34TM980O

It is nearly lunch time when the Dreamer awakens to find himself in the arms of his guardian.copyright protection41PENANArXFD4oowzl

   “Morning my son. See I’m all right.”copyright protection41PENANARSG5f5nq0o

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 protection41PENANA4T08YUU72U

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 protection41PENANAVuRB8WZxsz

   “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 protection41PENANASjsypIEN9F

   “Don’t look so worried my son. I’m bound to be sore for a little while.”copyright protection41PENANAbdyclw6gD9

   “My goodness it was some battle.”copyright protection41PENANAazE2bMYbkr

“It sure was, but they regretted it in the end, as they should never have taken on an ancient in his own domain.”copyright protection41PENANALcLeLbXpY6

   “What did you do?”copyright protection41PENANA4akDmGatWO

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 protection41PENANAC7nh9z38Lo

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 protection41PENANAAwAmLmxIMv

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 protection41PENANAORG9u2PFwM

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 protection41PENANAt9TRq3rubc

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 protection41PENANASMIt8tPFbC

Gaylin gives him a soft hug and whispers, “Father.”copyright protection41PENANAb0tRaYUZDq

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 protection41PENANAM7zGY0JpuV

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 protection41PENANABnHkQPOFv0

Nightfall’s face returns to normal, he gently pats the side of Gaylin’s face and says, “Time to go.”copyright protection41PENANAhG0LxbJsbn

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 protection41PENANASXusDttmTX

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 protection41PENANAiukZPbPDQk

   “Afternoon, sleeping beauty,” says Yūichi, picking him up.copyright protection41PENANAD80EUyPD00

   “Afternoon uncle. What’s happen?” Gaylin asks, pointing his hand towards a large map that is covered in markers.copyright protection41PENANA1TYwmBZPYS

   “We have been trying to find ways to return peace to the land,” replies Kage.copyright protection41PENANANgn8gcj5Qa

The Dreamer’s head titles to one side and he says in his own language, “You’ll be lucky.”copyright protection41PENANApujq8dYYRZ

   “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 protection41PENANAZTSXpfzo4y

   “I understand and all we can do is try our best.”copyright protection41PENANAhSPE06RkbH

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 protection41PENANAvBbO1k20iT

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 protection41PENANAZiNRgc7QBb

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 protection41PENANApS4ex5kopw

To be continued...copyright protection41PENANA5U8hJ9BLaU

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