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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!fF21k4W5mqzhSsYXfmqvposted on PENANA

This outburst brings Kage bursting into the room asking, “What’s wrong?”copyright protection85PENANAyj2iaX86hF

The Dreamer holds out the book and says, “Sorry. Take a look.”copyright protection85PENANAcwkeyFjvLG

The Grey Dragon takes a seat next to him, then takes hold of the book and says, “Oh my goodness, poor Gonijō.”copyright protection85PENANAVlYONWL2ic

   “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 protection85PENANAyRvB9GyhNQ

Kage rubs the back of his neck and says, “He is a bit young.”copyright protection85PENANAXZnieWXxrI

   “I know... But what can we do? His sister is far too young.”copyright protection85PENANAen4cbR8XUr

   “You’re right. Are you going to run the test now?”copyright protection85PENANA9siF4slCK8

Gaylin nods, he picks up a dark blue velvet bag and walks out of the room along with the Grey Dragon.copyright protection85PENANAsH8QZmMXUd

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 protection85PENANAG8BKlNCtKw

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 protection85PENANAVUZeA3HVFr

   “Sorry it’s me, Gaylin. Please try to lie still, I am almost done.”copyright protection85PENANA489dZ9AL6u

   “What? And why is my chest feeling oddly warm?”copyright protection85PENANAZNDAxYn9s8

   “It’s the crystal I have placed there... Just hold on a little longer, I am nearly done.”copyright protection85PENANAGo2FDCIkyo

The emperor does as the Dreamer tells him and it is not long before he removes the warm thing from his chest.copyright protection85PENANALDxUQw3ria

Gaylin sighs and says in his own language, “I don’t know how to tell him.”copyright protection85PENANAWhXzSvyfF1

   “How many years does he have left?” comes Kage’s voice out of the gloom.copyright protection85PENANAolpq023JmC

   “The same as in the book.”copyright protection85PENANA78fF36b6xt

   “Don’t worry I will tell him.”copyright protection85PENANAgtLe3DJCTo

   “Thanks.”copyright protection85PENANADhK3IK6Lut

The Grey Dragon goes on to inform Gonijō who sits up and gasps, “What?!”copyright protection85PENANAnCBDhEJtLh

   “I’m so sorry. Now you know how they got the names Time stealer, Devour of souls.”copyright protection85PENANAX2LIgPl0re

   “I take it there is no way to retrieve what has been taken?”copyright protection85PENANAp5w98eUf0o

   “I’m afraid I do not know as my great grandmother has never mentioned it,” replies Gaylin, sounding a little disappointed.copyright protection85PENANAIn0k1hZLKL

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 protection85PENANA3HNOq4DL54

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 protection85PENANA0uawDiLxyL

   “I think he will as it is a perfectly reasonable request.”copyright protection85PENANAWg9WBaeAWY

   “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 protection85PENANAlZG9N6erSj

   “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 protection85PENANAwTNGqrZbYx

   “All right, just be careful.”copyright protection85PENANAXUO6Rph50d

   “Don’t you worry, I be extra careful. See you in a bit.”copyright protection85PENANA4mdKv1RJsK

Gaylin takes a moment to explain to the emperor what is happening and he too hopes the guardian is successful.copyright protection85PENANA3ZDQF4hFfg

The Dreamer bows his head and says, “I’m sorry.”copyright protection85PENANAddb1j2rB8r

   “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 protection85PENANAOcN2Wj3O3w

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 protection85PENANAy6vcXbgeQw

Gonijō performs a seated bow, then lies down and closes his eyes.copyright protection85PENANAv3JG53JwER

Gaylin pats him on the shoulder and says, “That’s it you get back to sleep and see you in a bit.”copyright protection85PENANAXt3Lv05yO9

The Grey Dragon holds out his left hand and the moment he makes a fist the candle inside the lamp goes out.copyright protection85PENANA4nfzzdLPrB

   “Showoff,” whispers Gaylin.copyright protection85PENANAlXF5DK8nhM

   “I know it’s terrible,” whispers Kage.copyright protection85PENANAeegi0Li5k7

They both walk out of the room and head back to the guest quarts to try and get a little more sleep.copyright protection85PENANAeouuY3HJT9

Meanwhile, in the other realm, Nightfall approaches the Time Stealers and demands them to return to him the mortal's soul.copyright protection85PENANAlf61kKMt83

They laugh at him and say in unison, "You won't be able to take it from us."copyright protection85PENANAfmivEihWoB

Then they draw their daggers and lunge at him.copyright protection85PENANA3D0y7YBPIv

The guardian's axe suddenly appears in front of him and the blades clatter against the handle.copyright protection85PENANAZ4K664RSxZ

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 protection85PENANAWNlej0xAXW

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 protection85PENANAc1zczHbbxT

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 protection85PENANAGwYqD4vuX3

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 protection85PENANAtTRP8aPFLN

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 protection85PENANACXOb9oTkzq

Nightfall laughs and says, "I told you both this is futile. I now entrap you both in Konton."copyright protection85PENANAegWdHzhc4f

   "No, wait. Please anything but that," begs the black mist woman as she watches the white stone start to spin.copyright protection85PENANAgx87nhhdX2

   "No you can't do this to us!"copyright protection85PENANA0z0PLadEuN

   "Then you should not have taken me on in my domain."copyright protection85PENANA4J31WKBeXF

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 protection85PENANAtddCkAUCOR

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 protection85PENANAFOqFDbPRPk

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 protection85PENANAFU4IV0twfq

   "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 protection85PENANAcJEplZ0fBO

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 protection85PENANA7gDxWgJM8z

   “Oh my goodness you’re hurt,” he says, crawling over to him.copyright protection85PENANA6NuawpbZWq

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 protection85PENANAq895xv4yLG

   “It’s part of his life-force?”copyright protection85PENANAmSWZqTg9Fp

The guardian nods and replies, “I have managed to get him one more year.”copyright protection85PENANAJMcdXID8Iz

The Dreamer grows worried when Nightfall starts to cough and collapse onto his side.copyright protection85PENANAz9HJeffjO0

   “Let me help you?”copyright protection85PENANAZaSWaiPrsv

   “No, get that to Gonijō before it starts to leak.”copyright protection85PENANAQch3qeM3nv

Gaylin strokes the side of his guardian’s face and replies, “All right, I will be as quick as I can.”copyright protection85PENANACWEkGTAVco

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 protection85PENANAVczO8K7YbA

   “Stay still.”copyright protection85PENANAu2NL5d0Rgn

   “Gaylin,” whispers Gonijō, looking up at him.copyright protection85PENANAmTk1e0VPV7

   “Nightfall has been able to get you one more year... But he’s hurt... Hurt badly. I need to get back to him.”copyright protection85PENANAdRkNGtxNsJ

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 protection85PENANAoWLbIRoIJF

   “You’re life-force returning to you,” replies the Dreamer, getting to his feet and runs out of the room.copyright protection85PENANA56zq7Oq2Dm

Gonijō quickly follows him, as the least thing he ever wanted was Nightfall getting hurt just for him.copyright protection85PENANAaRevEUYcIq

The moment he enters the room he performs the Kowtow and apologises.copyright protection85PENANAV6nHi5zGOi

   “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 protection85PENANAmToWkwKKzo

Nightfall takes a few deep breaths, before he sits groaning in pain and mutters, “I will return to my world.”copyright protection85PENANA7KflfTfe6Y

The Dreamer helps him to rise and replies, “All right see you in a bit.”copyright protection85PENANAF252Kn7j4V

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 protection85PENANABqP0n9x7U6

   “Nightfall!” Gaylin calls, throwing his arms around him.copyright protection85PENANAv1QLm6FCkL

This outburst brings the the Dragons into the room and the emperor goes on to tell them what has happened.copyright protection85PENANABZNG2x39R7

Yūichi and Kage ask if there is anything they can do to help.copyright protection85PENANA5syVtV5030

The Dreamer shakes his head and replies, “He needs to get back to his realm.”copyright protection85PENANA7y2Yjp4Z1p

They all watch him throw out his left hand and begins to mutter an incantation.copyright protection85PENANAKDoyjq6mAX

   “You be careful.”copyright protection85PENANAtGq2CTXIT0

Gaylin nods and asks, “Is that big enough?”copyright protection85PENANAI1zLZTa3Sc

Nightfall nods, he starts to crawl towards the portal and says, “Do not worry, I will close it from the other side.”copyright protection85PENANAsDPRb8ihuT

   “All right. See you later.”copyright protection85PENANAfYzF1cyYVs

The guardian nods then disappears into the portal and a few seconds later it closes behind him.copyright protection85PENANAZDtzostzwm

Gaylin clutches the feather to his chest and hopes Nightfall recovers quickly.copyright protection85PENANALYZAQbI8td

Yūichi gives the Dreamer a hug and asks, “Are you all right?”copyright protection85PENANA2IbBncOWbJ

   “I’m fine. I know he’s going to be all right... But that does not stop me worrying until he has return.”copyright protection85PENANAobnRLMkelQ

   “That’s perfectly understandable, dear boy.”copyright protection85PENANAB6PAGGMpPf

Kage folds his arms and says, “I still cannot believe they attacked an ancient.”copyright protection85PENANACRYOtl1hhc

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 protection85PENANA1Gooy9aSnw

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 protection85PENANAJZDyzkfmJ4

   “I think I can speak for him, no problem as it is my job,” replies the Dreamer, winking his left eye.copyright protection85PENANAClVAaoVbFd

The emperor performs a deep bow and asks, “Would he accept a gift?”copyright protection85PENANAoGTM5rWgkk

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 protection85PENANAM3jpCSJRft

   “I know, but he did help me. I would very much like to give him something in return.”copyright protection85PENANAVROQrZenaU

   “I understand. He likes tea.”copyright protection85PENANAAyBulGVhWf

Gonijō smiles and says, “That’s easy. I will give him the finest blend I have.”copyright protection85PENANABJiU9VNSM2

   “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 protection85PENANAmIUbylaNIk

Yūichi gently picks him up and whispers, “You need to rest.”copyright protection85PENANAIjTjNe0IwW

All the Dreamer manages is a nod.copyright protection85PENANAY8Gh2PcQIZ

Kage lends down and whispers, “Bless him, he’s dropped off.”copyright protection85PENANAT4HNff8p3R

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 protection85PENANAKLaD5XS5Gp

It is nearly lunch time when the Dreamer awakens to find himself in the arms of his guardian.copyright protection85PENANA2ExJWzy8qg

   “Morning my son. See I’m all right.”copyright protection85PENANA7jlO6A4f08

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 protection85PENANA7KUho0fh6V

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 protection85PENANAG9AdSwNrFd

   “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 protection85PENANAIMx3BDEGTE

   “Don’t look so worried my son. I’m bound to be sore for a little while.”copyright protection85PENANAP0pJiNKx5Q

   “My goodness it was some battle.”copyright protection85PENANAsLZ3YRzMje

“It sure was, but they regretted it in the end, as they should never have taken on an ancient in his own domain.”copyright protection85PENANA011x4DbIk4

   “What did you do?”copyright protection85PENANAn95NTnBDUG

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 protection85PENANAtnrtqql0cE

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 protection85PENANAecFgKJUVse

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 protection85PENANA0Qn5DhseUm

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 protection85PENANAVoJmRaMcaZ

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 protection85PENANAQpcwGWgASI

Gaylin gives him a soft hug and whispers, “Father.”copyright protection85PENANAOSzcXdtpso

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 protection85PENANAMnMwKEGxRQ

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 protection85PENANAwIgJeWGuwy

Nightfall’s face returns to normal, he gently pats the side of Gaylin’s face and says, “Time to go.”copyright protection85PENANAdlrMxo01Os

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 protection85PENANApAQc6ARN7I

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 protection85PENANAEDrUnFQ49n

   “Afternoon, sleeping beauty,” says Yūichi, picking him up.copyright protection85PENANADmI49gtahi

   “Afternoon uncle. What’s happen?” Gaylin asks, pointing his hand towards a large map that is covered in markers.copyright protection85PENANACHTsU03MNa

   “We have been trying to find ways to return peace to the land,” replies Kage.copyright protection85PENANAvrOWmbBcfL

The Dreamer’s head titles to one side and he says in his own language, “You’ll be lucky.”copyright protection85PENANAAS8jXhzqrR

   “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 protection85PENANAI4zCxuCAgp

   “I understand and all we can do is try our best.”copyright protection85PENANAKLRzHdKjq0

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 protection85PENANA40TcjQuThW

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 protection85PENANAL00kCyPf95

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 protection85PENANAEURwtzJeS9

To be continued...copyright protection85PENANAeXa89uZEoh

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