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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!lUuaGkBXGlFSvVSTGGwxposted on PENANA

This outburst brings Kage bursting into the room asking, “What’s wrong?”copyright protection51PENANAnYAnsdxNsf

The Dreamer holds out the book and says, “Sorry. Take a look.”copyright protection51PENANACOa6YQrAO7

The Grey Dragon takes a seat next to him, then takes hold of the book and says, “Oh my goodness, poor Gonijō.”copyright protection51PENANAVt0rpSk5zQ

   “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 protection51PENANADXPdkhrS4U

Kage rubs the back of his neck and says, “He is a bit young.”copyright protection51PENANA8HIiNH9fhX

   “I know... But what can we do? His sister is far too young.”copyright protection51PENANAmdqnEQfZVP

   “You’re right. Are you going to run the test now?”copyright protection51PENANAPzMEM7WeZ1

Gaylin nods, he picks up a dark blue velvet bag and walks out of the room along with the Grey Dragon.copyright protection51PENANA88IRqwzALQ

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 protection51PENANAx84YvJOLIK

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 protection51PENANABxjnc6v9kv

   “Sorry it’s me, Gaylin. Please try to lie still, I am almost done.”copyright protection51PENANAatDTl4pUEb

   “What? And why is my chest feeling oddly warm?”copyright protection51PENANALbkPaPyZBg

   “It’s the crystal I have placed there... Just hold on a little longer, I am nearly done.”copyright protection51PENANAJcO3A196at

The emperor does as the Dreamer tells him and it is not long before he removes the warm thing from his chest.copyright protection51PENANABlXfeijDcX

Gaylin sighs and says in his own language, “I don’t know how to tell him.”copyright protection51PENANAPX99NjZljA

   “How many years does he have left?” comes Kage’s voice out of the gloom.copyright protection51PENANAC2Nr5oteuD

   “The same as in the book.”copyright protection51PENANAI6YGmdZFRb

   “Don’t worry I will tell him.”copyright protection51PENANADG9MQX6Pjp

   “Thanks.”copyright protection51PENANAqWsdnxCQM6

The Grey Dragon goes on to inform Gonijō who sits up and gasps, “What?!”copyright protection51PENANAuvdtczGbfx

   “I’m so sorry. Now you know how they got the names Time stealer, Devour of souls.”copyright protection51PENANAnSexF4uLTN

   “I take it there is no way to retrieve what has been taken?”copyright protection51PENANAbjJDx6b9XY

   “I’m afraid I do not know as my great grandmother has never mentioned it,” replies Gaylin, sounding a little disappointed.copyright protection51PENANAgsutVG3CRi

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 protection51PENANA9eanLPsfBl

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 protection51PENANA3NFMrcTDmR

   “I think he will as it is a perfectly reasonable request.”copyright protection51PENANABCj66eM9QD

   “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 protection51PENANAs0SCoEsQT3

   “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 protection51PENANAbXRRJi3DVq

   “All right, just be careful.”copyright protection51PENANAuw2NC92piT

   “Don’t you worry, I be extra careful. See you in a bit.”copyright protection51PENANA3KTVnhzP8t

Gaylin takes a moment to explain to the emperor what is happening and he too hopes the guardian is successful.copyright protection51PENANATkrKba2fOY

The Dreamer bows his head and says, “I’m sorry.”copyright protection51PENANAFivI68R9xa

   “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 protection51PENANA2AVVwid58l

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 protection51PENANAz2G0NRbQ6Z

Gonijō performs a seated bow, then lies down and closes his eyes.copyright protection51PENANAOMijuorlyY

Gaylin pats him on the shoulder and says, “That’s it you get back to sleep and see you in a bit.”copyright protection51PENANAvAzrw5JJbS

The Grey Dragon holds out his left hand and the moment he makes a fist the candle inside the lamp goes out.copyright protection51PENANA5LVLLIDXzK

   “Showoff,” whispers Gaylin.copyright protection51PENANAXnwfH0E8mc

   “I know it’s terrible,” whispers Kage.copyright protection51PENANA7SMHjjM32Y

They both walk out of the room and head back to the guest quarts to try and get a little more sleep.copyright protection51PENANAW8JRUvAxs9

Meanwhile, in the other realm, Nightfall approaches the Time Stealers and demands them to return to him the mortal's soul.copyright protection51PENANAhpwOFdOkmb

They laugh at him and say in unison, "You won't be able to take it from us."copyright protection51PENANAwu4jboCXrF

Then they draw their daggers and lunge at him.copyright protection51PENANAVoOFfIaQfD

The guardian's axe suddenly appears in front of him and the blades clatter against the handle.copyright protection51PENANAZx3wlIKa36

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 protection51PENANAmABqUMOwKg

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 protection51PENANAcGE0lTJwKY

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 protection51PENANA9JwcfRV02Y

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 protection51PENANA7oyIOsuCZf

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 protection51PENANAScVwdhqWNb

Nightfall laughs and says, "I told you both this is futile. I now entrap you both in Konton."copyright protection51PENANAUXUr9ai5ak

   "No, wait. Please anything but that," begs the black mist woman as she watches the white stone start to spin.copyright protection51PENANA4hICZx5ua5

   "No you can't do this to us!"copyright protection51PENANAJ2hFzuW0qK

   "Then you should not have taken me on in my domain."copyright protection51PENANAblH6MRg5Xr

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 protection51PENANAq1J9EIGJdQ

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 protection51PENANAPXT7CsBzt2

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 protection51PENANAkFo2LbU2hR

   "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 protection51PENANAuHSdQwWwg9

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 protection51PENANAn56gcJJOjc

   “Oh my goodness you’re hurt,” he says, crawling over to him.copyright protection51PENANARDSgGErAHI

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 protection51PENANArbqkogRkN8

   “It’s part of his life-force?”copyright protection51PENANAuaeBqrkagE

The guardian nods and replies, “I have managed to get him one more year.”copyright protection51PENANAn7ifoYTPzB

The Dreamer grows worried when Nightfall starts to cough and collapse onto his side.copyright protection51PENANAy1MYlbfdv2

   “Let me help you?”copyright protection51PENANAl0dzBE0WOh

   “No, get that to Gonijō before it starts to leak.”copyright protection51PENANAAboSqMRkCq

Gaylin strokes the side of his guardian’s face and replies, “All right, I will be as quick as I can.”copyright protection51PENANAWbrIaNTp0p

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 protection51PENANAsmqGW1kXX8

   “Stay still.”copyright protection51PENANAeykCrKpi52

   “Gaylin,” whispers Gonijō, looking up at him.copyright protection51PENANAJ2dbKoYEOZ

   “Nightfall has been able to get you one more year... But he’s hurt... Hurt badly. I need to get back to him.”copyright protection51PENANA4hmuXiwhft

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 protection51PENANAqt2K6tvwMB

   “You’re life-force returning to you,” replies the Dreamer, getting to his feet and runs out of the room.copyright protection51PENANAywDMHnbG2Z

Gonijō quickly follows him, as the least thing he ever wanted was Nightfall getting hurt just for him.copyright protection51PENANAG6g2Bdl7vA

The moment he enters the room he performs the Kowtow and apologises.copyright protection51PENANABV4DFb7aHT

   “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 protection51PENANALgqo37MeOP

Nightfall takes a few deep breaths, before he sits groaning in pain and mutters, “I will return to my world.”copyright protection51PENANAdvVuxwHSEc

The Dreamer helps him to rise and replies, “All right see you in a bit.”copyright protection51PENANAtf8xSNIZYq

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 protection51PENANATKHk8KsVZg

   “Nightfall!” Gaylin calls, throwing his arms around him.copyright protection51PENANAKdLGHjdpbR

This outburst brings the the Dragons into the room and the emperor goes on to tell them what has happened.copyright protection51PENANACF6KcZxVYw

Yūichi and Kage ask if there is anything they can do to help.copyright protection51PENANAmSg3cpOEkN

The Dreamer shakes his head and replies, “He needs to get back to his realm.”copyright protection51PENANAV50HMI007c

They all watch him throw out his left hand and begins to mutter an incantation.copyright protection51PENANARKRYu4X20W

   “You be careful.”copyright protection51PENANAymPPq1eeGz

Gaylin nods and asks, “Is that big enough?”copyright protection51PENANA2CE3jrLjrT

Nightfall nods, he starts to crawl towards the portal and says, “Do not worry, I will close it from the other side.”copyright protection51PENANAvjEnh8rfbr

   “All right. See you later.”copyright protection51PENANAbKO0ze2NsJ

The guardian nods then disappears into the portal and a few seconds later it closes behind him.copyright protection51PENANAmvl1yEtkYU

Gaylin clutches the feather to his chest and hopes Nightfall recovers quickly.copyright protection51PENANAetdSQv1iKc

Yūichi gives the Dreamer a hug and asks, “Are you all right?”copyright protection51PENANAJVXxWwLZje

   “I’m fine. I know he’s going to be all right... But that does not stop me worrying until he has return.”copyright protection51PENANAIGJ4IiIbCH

   “That’s perfectly understandable, dear boy.”copyright protection51PENANA5RbjJ2OKky

Kage folds his arms and says, “I still cannot believe they attacked an ancient.”copyright protection51PENANAX4uUBqqnpK

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 protection51PENANAC8rmc9FVlh

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 protection51PENANACq8NKSPyC9

   “I think I can speak for him, no problem as it is my job,” replies the Dreamer, winking his left eye.copyright protection51PENANA7AeBuP1Vdr

The emperor performs a deep bow and asks, “Would he accept a gift?”copyright protection51PENANAGQz8cLiRGD

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 protection51PENANA9j4i6OaWmN

   “I know, but he did help me. I would very much like to give him something in return.”copyright protection51PENANA6tok5Ta6Po

   “I understand. He likes tea.”copyright protection51PENANAyve7ErTWjA

Gonijō smiles and says, “That’s easy. I will give him the finest blend I have.”copyright protection51PENANAztTDL0rWXO

   “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 protection51PENANAK3i8on1yuQ

Yūichi gently picks him up and whispers, “You need to rest.”copyright protection51PENANAW3mbb0C4WV

All the Dreamer manages is a nod.copyright protection51PENANAFwoyaazB6w

Kage lends down and whispers, “Bless him, he’s dropped off.”copyright protection51PENANAqRzJZY70wC

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 protection51PENANARtFdEQehVb

It is nearly lunch time when the Dreamer awakens to find himself in the arms of his guardian.copyright protection51PENANAdAHC8RMItT

   “Morning my son. See I’m all right.”copyright protection51PENANAeUKODKMLLj

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 protection51PENANAnCM3QrT4IP

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 protection51PENANAfVpXxyOkgi

   “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 protection51PENANAevcZjQJ6Bu

   “Don’t look so worried my son. I’m bound to be sore for a little while.”copyright protection51PENANApY6c1XDV1l

   “My goodness it was some battle.”copyright protection51PENANAKhh9ePI3aY

“It sure was, but they regretted it in the end, as they should never have taken on an ancient in his own domain.”copyright protection51PENANAlotxnNn6UY

   “What did you do?”copyright protection51PENANAAjXHwZE9UG

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 protection51PENANAvFYMOdCwgM

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 protection51PENANAvBaZ9xNxEH

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 protection51PENANAvf1tWxsBHn

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 protection51PENANAic2hZRuBoK

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 protection51PENANAnUmyTv6G2K

Gaylin gives him a soft hug and whispers, “Father.”copyright protection51PENANAoy0p1XXuzE

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 protection51PENANASRQU9QMDra

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 protection51PENANAnP4JoYfuFh

Nightfall’s face returns to normal, he gently pats the side of Gaylin’s face and says, “Time to go.”copyright protection51PENANAf3QgtSdqmM

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 protection51PENANA5eEV9NLVqd

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 protection51PENANA6O3ayr8NWO

   “Afternoon, sleeping beauty,” says Yūichi, picking him up.copyright protection51PENANA5cRVslOGLb

   “Afternoon uncle. What’s happen?” Gaylin asks, pointing his hand towards a large map that is covered in markers.copyright protection51PENANAsQq7MzVyvl

   “We have been trying to find ways to return peace to the land,” replies Kage.copyright protection51PENANAMBaPMJhVwe

The Dreamer’s head titles to one side and he says in his own language, “You’ll be lucky.”copyright protection51PENANAJCrAyTVmAH

   “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 protection51PENANAx3yXakx5T2

   “I understand and all we can do is try our best.”copyright protection51PENANArFECvqlMlS

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 protection51PENANA14usF2mBpW

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 protection51PENANAiWZRU9csf5

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 protection51PENANAuHL8jgzE3U

To be continued...copyright protection51PENANAw4Y0wD3Set

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