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The Assassin The Soldier And The Thief
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The Assassin The Soldier And The Thief
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#35
Chapter 35 - A Long Awaited Reunion
Nelso555
Dec 14, 2017
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15 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!JHSjM4HVYepOMoVdWP1pposted on PENANA

The tracks that Christel had seen in the sand were as clear as day. He assumed that whoever had left them was smart enough to know that hiding tracks from the djann was pointless. He placed a ready hand over his sword. The people who had gone into the temple hadn’t come out yet.copyright protection15PENANAah4TGC5qUM

Christel’s chance encounter with Sam had appeared to have gone relatively well, however it worried him that the military was so deep within djann territory. Regardless of that, he had a mission now – unite the humans, djann, and orcs – defeat Garn, and earn his freedom. No one was going to stop him now.copyright protection15PENANAWDuPXhTFcR

As he walked up the sandy stone steps that lead into the temple, he wondered about who this person was that he was going to meet. This stranger was supposed to have all the answers – about Garn, his plan, and his mysterious powers.copyright protection15PENANATCGF1BTXqV

Inside the temple was the largest room that Christel had ever been in. The stone floor was plain and layered with dust. The far off walls were lined with statues of nameless figures, and above them, a stone stairway trailed up into a higher floor. There’s more to this place?copyright protection15PENANAnBdruT4AkY

Christel took a few cautious steps forward, with Hazel only a few feet behind him. A gap in the wall above the entrance shot a beam of dusty sunlight through the temple, illuminating the far wall. They were both stunned by what they saw.copyright protection15PENANAnhCS6z90em

Carved into the far wall was the immaculate body of a dragon. Its powerful wings almost stretched from one side of the wall to the other. The dragon had opened its great jaws and sent a terrifying burst of fire into the air, way up into the ceiling. Beneath the dragon’s wings were ten distinct figures, five on the left and five on the right. They were all women of perfect detail, each had a different face and different clothes, and they all held different objects in their hands – a bag of coins, a scythe, a sand timer, a sceptre, a staff, two swords, a candle, a scroll, a mask, and a pile of sand.copyright protection15PENANAS7ZyN09HYA

These are the ten divine, Christel realised, and a dragon! All the history and mythology books told of dragons roaming the land ages before their time. How old is this temple? He would have asked Kaizin however he knew that the djann had never dared enter the temple for they believed that the gods rested there. Is that who I am supposed to meet? One of the gods?copyright protection15PENANACmbPNGJSh4

In front of the dragon and the statues was an altar – a massive stone brick covered with dust. Upon it rested a perfect benezian diamond that was larger than his fist, pulsing rays of shining purple light. It was by far the largest he had ever seen. Did they worship the crystals?copyright protection15PENANAQElsxr2Hsg

He then heard the feint scrape of a foot across the ground, and before he could think he felt the sting of a blade against his back. Hazel gasped and cried out. A black-gloved hand pressed over Christel’s mouth and it forced him to turn towards Hazel.copyright protection15PENANA3ko3Sc42T2

“Don’t move,” said the voice behind him, he knew that voice.copyright protection15PENANADwoOmcv55M

Hazel recognised the assailant’s face immediately. “Arlandra?” she murmured.copyright protection15PENANAaVrvoZXqGp

The blade disappeared immediately. “Hazel,” said the voice, and then he looked at Christel’s face. “Christel! My god, I thought I felt something familiar about you.”copyright protection15PENANAHKJ6NCiRFb

Christel was just as shocked. “I never expected to see you again. What are you doing here?”copyright protection15PENANAUiHj73wC9B

Arlandra slid his knife away. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”19Please respect copyright.PENANAr4zenjGmHT
“Try me,” Christel challenged.copyright protection15PENANApjwRPVQMmw

“Well, I was send here by Ariana, you know, goddess of fate…”copyright protection15PENANAb4gVa4ysVd

He was sent here too? It can’t be. Why would she send him as well?copyright protection15PENANAEPwm9DqFgA

“I know who she is, Arlandra,” he said sharply.copyright protection15PENANAgFTNwIInv4

“Well she sent me here to find a way to kill Garn Pallerii. Why are you here?”copyright protection15PENANATG9aCjeaMa

Christel smiled as Arlandra walked passed him to examine the dragon. “I’d say it was fate,” Christel exclaimed, “but that’s what she does, isn’t it.”copyright protection15PENANAorZUO9xeON

“Ariana, you mean?” Arlandra asked.copyright protection15PENANAO4tIR0rAnW

“That’s right, she sent me here to help put an end to Garn’s plans.”copyright protection15PENANAFhDOrg8GrV

She told me that I was the only person who could save Noveria, Christel thought, this is a challenge.copyright protection15PENANAQPmQJaZhpN

“That’s good then,” Arlandra said carefully. “I guess we were both chosen to be her champions.”copyright protection15PENANA5eRzXJzojX

When Arlandra turned away from the altar he had almost strolled right into the end of Christel’s blade. Christel had drawn his sword and aimed it directly at the assassin. “But the thing about a champion,” Christel continued, “is that there can only be one. My bet is that Ariana wants to see who’s the strongest.”19Please respect copyright.PENANAm5s7qJ8dYl
The assassin smiled, his green eyes flashing. “That’s funny, I was just thinking the exact same thing.”copyright protection15PENANAlYeZMGfUmG

“Christel stop it!” Hazel cried.copyright protection15PENANAPcwc2gn1yN

And Juliet uttered out, “Arlandra!”copyright protection15PENANAOD1GdYpMnJ

The assassin drew his blade faster than Christel could react, and in one swift stroke he battered the thief’s sword and they were locked.copyright protection15PENANAKIHYHuEXp0

“I think I’m actually looking forward to this.” The assassin smiled.copyright protection15PENANAEfcasfqPgZ

But then they were interrupted as a silhouette appeared against the light at the entrance. Who else did she send? Christel wondered.copyright protection15PENANAC5CELPCbCZ

“Arlandra!” The man called out. “Christel! What are you doing here?”copyright protection15PENANAUmIClq7Znw

“Oh great!” Arlandra cried. “She sent us the soldier too.”copyright protection15PENANA02MdcesD3I

“Wait, what is going on?” Sam questioned as he moved into the room with Ashley beside him.copyright protection15PENANACGNfkz5XLI

Christel glanced over to Sam, however he kept his blade pointed at Arlandra. “It seems Ariana wants one of us to stop Garn. But that won’t be a problem seeing as I’m the one who’s going to do it.”copyright protection15PENANAWG5Fiq5pqt

Arlandra edged his sword slightly closer to Christel’s throat. “In your dreams, thief.”copyright protection15PENANAWqvIEIW6m0

And then Sam drew his sword, joining in the conflict. “I don’t think you guys understand,” he replied firmly. “If I don’t capture Garn then I’ll forever be branded as a criminal, and I can’t have that.”copyright protection15PENANAPZHDe1ckYY

Both Arlandra’s and Christel’s swords swung over to aim at Sam’s head. The soldier’s eyes darted from one to the other. Then he continued, “besides, Christel, what business does a thief have being here?”copyright protection15PENANA2VE8AWyGmZ

“Ariana gave me a chance at freedom,” Christel answered, “and I’m not going to let something like that slip away.”copyright protection15PENANAajqF24oZbL

“You want to know an easy way to not be a thief,” Sam quipped, “stop stealing.”copyright protection15PENANAZ0KGDZIQjH

Christel stepped closer to Sam. “It’s not that easy. It’s about my past. Someone like you wouldn’t understand.”copyright protection15PENANAOmCsvdp3TM

“Regardless,” Arlandra butted in, “it looks like we all want something from Garn Pallerii.”copyright protection15PENANA335tJ7x86I

“And I take it the person one of us is supposed to meet is somewhere up those stairs,” Sam added.copyright protection15PENANAT6JDNmDvdX

“So the first person to make it there gets what they want, right?”copyright protection15PENANAc2jPuP2USV

Their swords swayed, pointing from one face to the other. It was a three-way duel of epic proportions – the assassin, the soldier, and the thief. Meanwhile the girls stood in a line, unable to help in any way. They were silent for a while, each waiting for the other to make a move.copyright protection15PENANAGWZLpITWQZ

“So it’s a race then,” said Arlandra.copyright protection15PENANAFK6onTL1pZ

Well at least no one has to die, Christel thought.copyright protection15PENANAYC1irw7tq0

But then Sam pulled out his pistol and aimed it at Christel’s head. “I don’t have time to play by those rules.” There was contempt in his eyes. “Christel Saan, one and a half years you damn near ruined my reputation, and you deserve to pay for what you did… but I can’t kill you.” He moved his pistol and aimed it now at Arlandra. “This man however is a murderer…”19Please respect copyright.PENANAQ1CmuwfL0v
“I prefer the term ‘assassin’.”copyright protection15PENANAp7WoTl7MiY

“… And I will not think twice before shooting him. However, I’d like to avoid killing anyone if I don’t have to. Christel, help me bring Arlandra down and then leave Garn to me, and I promise I will get you your freedom.”copyright protection15PENANAMXISm6M77b

“Sam you son of a bitch!” Arlandra yelled. “Fight fair, you bastard!”copyright protection15PENANA65N8ofEvI4

Christel pondered this for a moment. “No. I don’t trust the military and I certainly don’t trust you.”copyright protection15PENANAv7crw5MER4

Sam looked at him for a while. “Very well,” he said, and then Christel saw the hammer of his revolver cock back.copyright protection15PENANADD2mwosjwA

“Stop!” Christel shouted as he dashed forward and knocked the gun out of Sam’s hand. He could have sworn the gun should have fired, but somehow he hit it before it did. And then, as the revolver scattered along the sandy floor, Sam punched Christel in the face and Arlandra started running. “Thanks,” he said as he hopped up the stairs, “I’ll see you at the top.”copyright protection15PENANAuDGiM4xqAg

Christel wiped the blood from his nose. “You asshole. I just saved your life.”copyright protection15PENANAv5oHwUMizE

“I know,” he responded, “so we’re square now, right?”copyright protection15PENANAnciqyOO17l

You can forget about that three percent!copyright protection15PENANACCZjULoscY

Sam left Christel and chased after Arlandra who was now darting up the stairs. “Arlandra, get back here!”copyright protection15PENANAIH36pz1cSA

“No way man,” he replied. “Garn is mine.”copyright protection15PENANAQfN8FlWun4

Christel was fast enough to catch up, but Arlandra and Sam were already well ahead. He grunted as he bolted up the stairs, hoping he wouldn’t trip. When he reached the ceiling he arrived at a room just as large as the last one. It was dimly lit – save for the strokes of sunlight that flowed through the widows, and beside the staircase that continued to stretch even higher was a maze of scaffolding and ropes.copyright protection15PENANAQZGQiBCG4O

With his sword ready Christel tried to slash at Sam’s back, just as Sam had caught the clothes around Arlandra’s shoulder. The assassin stumbled and the soldier had to turn around in order to parry Christel’s blow. With Sam currently occupied, Arlandra saw the chance to bring him down, however the soldier was ready and Arlandra received a heavy kick to the abdomen, after which he stumbled back and fell onto the scaffolding.copyright protection15PENANAEMwHTWhU89

As Christel fought with Sam in a tinging series of strokes, parries and blows, he noticed Arlandra tampering with the ropes that suspended the bell at the top of the tower. The assassin swung his sword and hacked at the rope beneath him, whilst holding on tightly to the rope above.copyright protection15PENANAvYpi65D3A0

“Oh no you don’t!” Christel shouted as he ducked past Sam and charged after Arlandra, however he feared that he might have been too late. The rope snapped and Christel saw as the assassin was propelled up into the air, but not after he had kicked off from a pole and leaped up to catch Arlandra’s foot.copyright protection15PENANA7r0OiiqUZu

He could feel himself soaring higher and higher as Arlandra’s leather boot gradually slipped under his fingers, and the bell that had been suspended flew past them as they were launched higher and higher. I have to hold on for just a little longer.copyright protection15PENANAJDhflacD5k

Then he heard the bell crash into the ground below him and smash into the level beneath that, and suddenly he was falling. I’m falling! He panicked.copyright protection15PENANANAidSojwsT

He hit the ground sooner than he thought he would, in fact, he had only fallen no more than a meter. He sat up, sore and dazed as he glanced around the third level of the temple, peeking down to where the bell had fallen. This room was almost the same as the others, dusty stone and dimly lit.copyright protection15PENANAwAlxpDPPyO

He noticed Arlandra try to stand up but was too shaken from the fall, while he on the other hand had dropped his sword when he had decided to come along. When the assassin was on his feet again and moving, Christel didn’t think, he simply acted by leaping and tackling the assassin around the legs. Arlandra fell to the ground again, kicking Christel and shouting. “Let go of my boots! What are you, twelve? Let go!”copyright protection15PENANAkhsCxONJrS

“I will be Ariana’s champion!” Christel yelled out.copyright protection15PENANA3fsmslLLRd

“No, I’m going to be the one to bring down Garn!”copyright protection15PENANAFoN0VcEL2c

And then a terrible and overwhelmingly loud voice thundered through the temple floor in a way that shook the walls. “Silence!”copyright protection15PENANAAnu3Z1RMLj

Both Arlandra and Christel stopped and didn’t move, and not a sound was heard until the clatter of Sam’s footsteps rang up the stairway and he appeared at the entrance to the room.copyright protection15PENANAFPy8b1tWMl

In the corner of the room where no sunlight could reach there was shuffle and a scraping sound, and then two burning yellow eyes opened and stared right through Christel. They appeared like snake eyes and they shimmered as if they were flames. And then the beast stepped out from the shadow and Christel’s heart went cold.copyright protection15PENANA9sJXsFa7qc

He saw brown leathery scales, yellow fangs and claws, spikes as sharp as spears, and wings that spread out like sails.copyright protection15PENANAj0AN3APVmA

Christel tried to speak, but stuttered. “You… you’re a… a…”copyright protection15PENANAf2pOaBPDxC

copyright protection15PENANAYH4IExnPEN

“A dragon?” said the seductive voice of a woman behind them. It unmistakably belonged to Ariana, and the goddess of fate strolled behind them as she appeared from the nothingness.copyright protection15PENANA1YOCMRcBNz

The dragon towered above everyone in the room, stamping its massive meaty talons and digging its claws into the stone. Its scales were the murky brown colour of tree bark and its eyes were so bright that Christel could not look away. And then it opened it mouth and words began to come out. Its speech was loud and deep and slow. Each steamy breath that the dragon took could be heard between each phrase. “You… bicker and fight like children… yes… just like little… children.”copyright protection15PENANAc2BCQLdFpL

Ariana smiled, almost childlike as she glanced from the dragon to the three men in the room. “I’d like to introduce you to Korasuun. And yes, he’s a dragon.”copyright protection15PENANAhosm77TuWx

“I thought dragons were extinct?” Sam stuttered.19Please respect copyright.PENANAxrA6FYqml7
“They seem surprised… to see me…” said Korasuun, the dragon. “I thought you had… told them.”copyright protection15PENANAiYw6AiYMUL

“Well, I didn’t want to scare them away now.” Ariana told the dragon.copyright protection15PENANAm6NXJEJWj9

Korasuun stood up high on his hind legs and looked down on the puny humans beneath him. “Yes, I am… a dragon… that is what your kind call me. And yes… I have not left this mountain… for a long… long… time. I have been waiting… yes… my brothers fled this land a thousand years ago… but I stayed… yes… I stayed and watched.”copyright protection15PENANAIByaXFhRae

Arlandra turned to Ariana. “You already knew what Garn had in mind, didn’t you?”copyright protection15PENANApscVzNdyA8

“Yes,” she said, “well, kind of. It all goes back to an ancient battle. Seeing as that was a very long time ago, I wanted you to hear it from him first.” She gestured towards Korasuun.copyright protection15PENANAkWe8TYMDV5

Christel butted in. “But why? I mean you were there weren’t you.”copyright protection15PENANAMDHlNF05wb

“Actually I wasn’t even born yet.” She shot them a cheeky smile and flicked at a strand of crimson black hair.copyright protection15PENANAkVExQdk4MU

Everyone save for Korasuun was shocked by that.copyright protection15PENANAc6QreKp0ok

“If there is something that you should learn about in this world,” Ariana continued, “it is that nothing lives forever, not even the gods. I am considered quite young for my age, and although I may live for another thousand years or so, I too will die eventually. It was the same for the goddess of fate before me. So you see, Korasuun here is the only creature that was actually alive when the war of the shemn occurred.”19Please respect copyright.PENANAgHcJODsXRr
Wars, goddesses and dragons… Christel couldn’t believe what his life had come to. “What was the war of the shemn?” he asked.copyright protection15PENANA6aXOwLtwRZ

“It all happened…” Korasuun started, “over a thousand years ago. Yes… before your kind roamed these lands there was… another… hmm… just like you. Yes… they were a simple folk… but foolish… yes… most of whom spent their entire lives in worship to what you call benezia… the source to all power.”copyright protection15PENANAHcUlJLz3Pl

Korasuun slowly let his eyelids fall and he seemed to have finished. Christel thought he might have fallen asleep.copyright protection15PENANAY1sOtHzSIX

“Well,” Sam said, “what happened to them? Where did they go?”copyright protection15PENANAdO8bDEX6bO

“Oh… well yes… of course…” The dragon muttered as he sat up again. “Well they went to war with themselves… yes they did… and like all species that I’ve watched over the years they were the same… Something to do with… yes… not wanting to use the benezian for fear of its ultimate… power… yes… and, in the end one side lost… hmm… as with all wars… one always loses. They were driven deep into the mountains… they were… yes… and they believed that they could use the power of benezia to fight back… and win the war…”copyright protection15PENANA5T00fKLPNB

Sam whispered something that Christen could just hear. “They fused it…”copyright protection15PENANAaLDDA6kaY2

“Why… yes…” Korasuun remarked slowly. “They were the only ones that I have seen… who were able to fuse their bodies with the power of benezia… Hmm… yes… but power corrupts… and from power… comes evil.”copyright protection15PENANA8cRhnuWkB7

“So what happened?” Christel asked.copyright protection15PENANA9H1aHgUt5H

“Why… they fought… against an enemy who was once their friends… but no more… they were no longer the creatures that they used to be… their bodies were… twisted… mutant and… vile… but formidable… yes… fearless… terrible… mindless…”copyright protection15PENANA5gtIU3OeeN

“But you defeated them, right?” asked Arlandra. “You did it before. You know how to stop them so we can do it again.”copyright protection15PENANAhmZ8DnDzHe

“That is a question… I am afraid… I do not know the answer to,” replied Korasuun.copyright protection15PENANAHQWI1EZV75

Christel stepped forward. “What do you mean you don’t know the answer to?”copyright protection15PENANADdl6VgaKuo

“He means,” said Ariana, “that he was there when the shemn were defeated but he doesn’t know how it was done.”copyright protection15PENANAxLLxUoUyYC

“Hmm… yes… I remember it very well… the shemn fell back into the mountains… as if they had lost the will to fight… I don’t know what they did that day… but it worked… yes… yes it did…”copyright protection15PENANANGtJounoqv

“But Garn hasn’t awakened them yet,” Christel started. “All we have to do is stop him before he does and we can avoid this war entirely.”copyright protection15PENANAt4IPaE5loA

“Yeah, that’s easier said than done,” Sam remarked. “I don’t know if you’ve seen how he is lately, but he’s not exactly human anymore.”copyright protection15PENANAKWmvugUpPS

Christel noticed a strange expression from Arlandra as Sam spoke those words, as if he had become quietly overwhelmed by fear.copyright protection15PENANA1CyvmX0Jmq

“I am afraid…” said Korasuun, “that you are already… too late.”copyright protection15PENANAfPuYFFCL10

So it’s started then, thought Christel, this war is really happening.copyright protection15PENANAlLXHgrYbQN

“I can… feel it… the shemn… have already been awakened… you’d best… prepare yourselves… for war…”copyright protection15PENANA3SqCnMAnwW

Ariana then caught their attention as if she were about to give them commands, which she practically did. “Over the next few days the shemn will probably be spreading out from the mountains and then after that, well, all hell is going to break loose through Noveria. I called each of you here intentionally because I know that you have what it takes to protect this land. Christel, you are the only person who can convince the djann, humans, and orcs to fight as one against the shemn. If they don’t then the shemn will simply take them out on by one. Sam, you can lead, and I know that you have what it takes to command an army against the shemn.” She turned finally to Arlandra. “And Arlandra, you are the only assassin in all of Noveria who can take Garn down for good.”copyright protection15PENANAOMMjKsYndZ

They looked at each other, three strangers now bonded through their will to protect.copyright protection15PENANAoyKlg1MfcD

“The fate of Noveria now rests in your hands, boys. Don’t let us down.”copyright protection15PENANA2gvtTSgugM

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