The Darkened Hours | Teen Ink

The Darkened Hours

February 4, 2011
By Dr.JoAnn, neosho, Missouri
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Dr.JoAnn, Neosho, Missouri
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I stood in front of my latest victim, watching the fear grow ever so more in his eyes.
"Please, have mercy! I have understood my evil ways, and I promise to do good from here on
out! Please, oh great and powerful being! I beg of-"
I shoved my sword into his heart and twisted before removal, blood glistening from its blade.
I turned toward my advisor and warrior guardian.
"Great job Akadinia! Another Underworld ruler conquered!" he called.
"All in a day's work, Nausdor."
Nausdor revealed his ashen gray hand, bony and scarred with age.
"Only one more thing to do now." He said.
He reached into his dark cloak and revealed part of a large key made of dark and light bone.
I turned the corpse at my feet over and jabbed the sword into his back, creating a large hole.
Reaching inside the body, I removed a dark bone. I then handed the bone back and made my way
towards the defeated Underlord's castle.
"Akadinia, what are you doing? We got the bone, let's go!"
"Calm yourself. This will only take me just a minute. I wish to get something." I turned and
entered the castle.
"Hmm, must be in here somewhere." I muttered.
Something glinted in the corner of my eye. In a flash, I dropped to the ground as a small bullet
whizzed over my head.A figure in the corner of the room moved its hand, aligning the gun for another
shot. I rolled over and felt the bullet snag the end of my nose. This guy had aim. I quickly drew a
small-shafted arrow and a bottle containing a dark thick purple liquid. I dipped the tiny arrow into the
concoction and drew it with my fingers. I let it go. It only took a second for the figure to
fall on the ground, motionless. I loomed over the fallen figure. It was wearing a dark cloak, similar to
Nausdor's. But this one contained a red insignia of a speared carp. I knew that insignia anywhere. It was
Pondia's symbol, my enemy. She is also, ironically, my sister. The insignia also stands for the Underworld.
The Overworld has an insignia too, but it's white and shows a winged sword similar to mine. Pondia has been
trying to kill me for years, ever since she knew I was looking for the same thing she was, the Bone Key.
The Bone Key is made up of 12 dark and 12 light bones, a total of 24. I have 7. Pondia has 9. Each bone is
from the back of an Underlord or Overlord. The bones can be removed harmlessly from the Lords, but what fun
is that? I mean, I don't hurt any of the Overlords; but I always enjoy ripping out the bone of a no-good
Underlord. I guess you can call it my past time. Overlords are good and work in the kingdom right close to
the Heavens. The Underlords, however, are filled with a sickening evil and share the same gates as Hell.
As babies, we were tried by the pureness in our hearts. I have 7 other siblings, but
Pondia and I were special. As the Royal's daughters, we achieved special powers based on our
pureness. I had an extreme potential of good in me, and I was given a special place in the
Overworld kingdom. Pondia though was filled with such an evil that forced her into the
Underworld. We were both also given special warrior guardians. Good or evil, both of the
Royals had to be given one. That is how I met Nausdor. He still had all the scars on him
from harsh wars in his youth, but with time they became more definite and he was slumped
with age. You have to give him credit, though. 256 years old and still going. He reminds
me of one of those energizer bunnies; just keeps going and going and going. I do not know
who is Pondia's warrior guardian; no one does. There are rumors of another sibling that was
given a warrior guardian of an unknown race, and that she contained so much power it was
known to be legendary. But those are just rumors. I moved the fallen warrior's arm and retrieved
my arrow. I wiped off the blood and the remaining purple goo with a worn rag that was made of my
blanket when I was a baby.
"Hmph. I should've known that one of Pondia's 'henchmen' would be here. Good thing I stocked up
on more poison." I muttered.
I didn't look to see what the face looked like, none of the henchmen have
a face. Only Underlords, Pondia, and her warrior guardian have one in the Underworld.
Luckily, all of the people in the Overworld have a face.

I looked around the dark room. On a table next to the Underlord's throne, something glinted
from on top of a velvet red pillow. I walked over to it. The sheen was coming from a pure
crystal tooth, the Underlord's most prized possession. It was probably for to fill a gap in
his mouth. I picked it up. "This should fetch quite a price." I said before slipping it into
my belt pouch. Not only am I a bone collector, you could also consider me as some sort of
a pirate. Whatever looks expensive in a deceased Underlord's castle, I take.

I exited the castle and walked down the stone steps towards Nausdor. "OK, we can go now." I
said with a smile on my face. "Akadinia, you know its not right to take things from
Underlords." he said. "It's alright." I said "After all, the Underlords are evil. Besides,
we need the money." Nausdor sighed,"Alright,fine. But I still think it is wrong." "Great,
let's go."I said. Nausdor pulled out a thin, black disk and threw it out into the open space.
Flying in the air, the disk expanded and thickened and fell to the ground as a hovercraft.

I jumped inside. "Shotgun!" I called, jumping into the front seat. "OK fine." Nausdor said,
entering into the passenger side of the craft. He pulled on the steering wheel so it could
be on his side. "But I'm driving" "Hey, no fair!" I said. "I got the craft that could change
the steering wheel, depending on the hand of the driver. Quite useful really." Nausdor
chuckled. We both put on dark robes to disguise ourselves and drove out of the Underworld.
Once we left the Underworld gates, we were able to remove our disguises.

Awhile later, my stomach began to growl. "Man, I'm hungry. Can we please go get something to
eat?" I moaned. "OK, we will quickly stop by Junx Shop in Afterlife and then go to the
Middleworld and get a bite to eat."Nausdor said. "Can we go to McDonald's?" "Sure." We drove
for a few hours, and I was just able to see the opening to the Afterlife. "By the way,
Akadinia, what did you grab at the Underlord's castle?" Nausdor asked. I pulled out the
tooth and showed it to him. "Some kind of crystal tooth." I said "Probably for a gap in his
mouth, I guess." I handed it to Nausdor. "Hmmm, looks pretty expensive. I'm sure Junx will
like it." he said.

We went through the doorway to the Afterlife. It was covered in cobwebs, skeletons, and giant
spiders that crawled through the twisted vines surrounding it. "Looks like they redecorated
since the last time we were here." Nausdor said as we drove through. Inside the Afterlife,
tons of spirit flames, some big and some small, floated through the streets. They all gave
off the same bluish-greenish glow that reflected off of the walls. These spirits are from
the people who live in the Middleworld. None of them get to keep their bodies, just their
souls remain;even thought they continue to live out their lives here. People from the
Overworld and Underworld work here. They get to keep their bodies.

We turned a corner and came up to a building made completely of junk, with lots of pipes
pumping out some sort of dark green smoke that gave off the smell of rotten, decayed flesh.
"Here we are, Junx Shop." Nausdor said, parking the craft. We climbed out and Nausdor pushed
a button on the craft. It shrunk and turned back into the small, flat disk. We can't leave
the hovercraft out because Junx's trash collectors would take it and try to sell it. He may
buy and sell his inventory for what it's worth, but he would still steal items off of the
streets to make a quick buck whenever he can.

A small bell chimed over the door as we walked in. A small stout man with big ears and green
wrinkled skin glared at us over the counter. Junx is a goblin, as is most of the people who
own the shops in the Afterlife are. Not a lot of people from the Overworld or the Underworld
like to work here, mainly because of the smell. Junx continued to glare at us with his big
ugly yellow eyes framed by just as unattractive wire-rimmed glasses.

"Hello Junx. Good to see you again. How's business?" Nausdor said, nodding towards Junx.
Junx squinted at us, then softened his gaze as soon as he realized who his customers were.
"Ahhh, Nausdor! Good to see you too! Buisness is slow, just as usual." Junx smiled. He
turned his gaze to me. "Well, if it isn't the warrior of the Overworld herself! Akadinia,
aren't you just a sight for sore eyes! Come in, come in!" "Uhhh, Junx? We are already
inside." I said. "Oh, so you are. I'm sorry, I need to get new glasses. God knows how long
I have had this piece of junk." he said.

Nausdor nudged me forward. "Akadinia has something from one of the Underlord's castles that
she thinks might fetch a high price." I pulled out the tooth. Junx squinted at the object
in my hand. "Bring it here and let me have a look at it." he said. I placed the tooth on
his table. "Well, let's have a look-see." Junx said, pulling out a large magnifying glass.
He peered into it, his eyes narrowing, all of his emotions gone. He does this to try to
understand the true value to the piece, not allowing any positive or negative feelings to
the objects judgment his price.

After a few minutes, Junx looked up and sighed, popping his back back into place. He always
does that when he is hunched over like that for an amount of time. "Well?" I asked. Junx
looked at me. "What do you think it is?" he asked. "I don't know, some kind of tooth?" I
said. "And what do you think it is for?" "For filling a gap in a mouth?" "What do you think
its price range is estimentally?"

Nausdor then jumped in. "We are not really in the mood for 20 questions, Junx. Can you
please just tell us the price and we will be on our way." Nausdor doesn't like being in one
place for very long; he calls it 'time consuming'. Junx sighed. "Alright, don't get your
britches in a bunch." "I'm not wearing britches. I'm in a robe." Nausdor replied. He doesn't
understand metaphors either. If it's not what you mean, he doesn't understand it.

Junx looked at the tooth one last time. "Well, it is a tooth, but not the kind you are
thinking of." He said "It is the tooth to that of a white Ginda Troll, a rare species."
"OK, how much is it worth?" I asked. "Oh, I'd give it an estimate of about 2,000 gudines."
Junx said. "Whoa, that much?!?" I exclaimed. 2,000 gudines is equal to $2,000,000 in
Middleworld money. "Do you wish to sell it?" Junx asked as he marveled the tooth. He
thinks money is no object, and would sell almost everything he had to get his hands on rare
items such as this.

"It's a deal!" I exclaimed. Nausdor and Junx went into a room in the back of the store and
discussed about how to get the money dispersed and how to make sure how to keep the tooth
in proper condition. After a few minutes, Nausdor came out and handed me 10 gudines ($100,000).
"Glad doing business with you! And glad to see you again, Akadinia!" Junx called. We turned
back and waved as we left the store. Nausdor pulled out the disk and had it turned back into
the hovercraft. "Can we eat now?" I asked. I didn't realize how hungry I was until we
started driving again, and the only thing on my mind was a Big Mac at McDonald's.
Nausdor chuckled. "Yes, we can."

We left the Afterlife, and it only took us half an hour to make our way to the Middleworld,
where normal people live. One of my brothers and one of my sisters live there, but by pure
choice. They decided to not live immortally and instead learn about the Middleworld people.
"I will admit this to you, Akadinia, I absolutely hate the smell of the Afterlife." Nausdor
said after awhile. I didn't answer back. I was thinking. "Just trying to make conversation."
Nausdor mumbled after I continued to ignore him.

I wasn't upset or anything, just thinking.
Mainly about what we were going to do with the money, and what did Nausdor do with the rest
of the money we earned? He can't hold on to all of that, and he absolutely hates banks. "I
was just wondering..." I said. "About what?" Nausdor replied. "Well, what happened to all of
the money we earned, and what are we going to do with it?" Nausdor didn't answer. I didn't
provoke him to say anything either. We just both stared straight ahead at the giant monster
blocking our way.

The giant, ugly beast stared right at us with his ginormous eyes and opened his mouth.
Surprisingly, it wasn't all that big. Just a perfectly round hole that could probably just
fit in a basketball and nothing else. At least I knew he wouldn't be able to eat us alive.
However, Nausdor still seemed horrified at the beast. "Soul Sucker" he whispered. "A what?"
I said, still slightly cringing of the monster. Wow, what a stench! It made my eyes water
and my nose sting. It had the stench of pure death.

"What does it do?" I asked. Stupid Question. "It does what it's name says it does. It sucks
up the souls of the Afterlife." Nausdor said. "Well, can it hurt us?" Another stupid
question. Nausdor didn't seem to notice. "No, not while your alive. Just don't let the horn
at the top of its head obliterate you and you'll be fine." he said. He was shaking now. I
knew this was a bad sign. Nausdor is never scared of monsters, at least unless he knows we
might not make it out alive.

Just then, Junx came out of the Afterlife gate, riding a smaller version of our hovercraft
and was whistling a little tune. The Soul Sucker retreated his gaze from us and showed it
on Junx. Junx looked up and gasped. He started shaking all over in fear. I was stunned what
I saw next. The Soul Sucker pointed its horn down on Junx. A little red ball of light
appeared at the top of the horn. The next second, it was gone. And so was Junx. All that was
in the little goblin's place was a puff of smoke. The Soul Sucker made a vacuuming sound and
sucked up all of the smoke, then began to walk away. Poor Junx.

Welling up with anger, I grabbed my sword. "No, Akadinia! You mustn't go after the beast! It's
had its fill and is going away! It won't bother us! Let it go!" Nausdor cried. But I didn't
hear him. All of my anger was welling up inside me. I didn't care that the beast has had its
fill. He killed my friend, and that's all that matters. I jumped out of the hovercraft and
ran towards the beast.

I raised the sword over my head. "AH,YAH,YAH,YAHHHHHHHH!!!!" I screamed. That's my battle
cry. I always do this when I'm ready to take the life of something evil. I jumped up to the
top of the monsters head and brought down my sword. I heard a hard CRUNCH and I felt the
skull give way to my blade. Blood began gushing everywhere. The monster gurgled and fell.
Unfortunately, the monster is about 30 feet tall, and I was still on top. "AHHH!" I screamed.
That's not my battle cry. That's my 'I'm about to die so please come help me' cry. I tried
to pull my sword out of the body. I didn't budge. Not good. I let go and jumped off of the
monster. Luckily, Nausdor got out of the hovercraft and was able to catch me at the bottom.
"Whew, that was a close one." He said, setting me down. "Y-yeah. You s-said it." I stuttered.
I was still in a little shock from the fall. I walked over to the corpse and grabbed my sword.
It easily came out now. I wiped it clean with my rag and we jumped back inside the craft and
made our way to the Middleworld.

Up ahead, I noticed a dark tunnel. Nausdor stopped the hovercraft at the opening and we
got out. He pushed the button on the craft and had it transformed back into its original
shape. The tunnel in front of us is the gate to the Middleworld, so we couldn't bring in
anything from ours. Now it was a 3-mile trek through the tunnel from here. Luckily, I have a
flashlight in my belt pouch, so we wouldn't be traveling in pitch dark. Besides, if the
batteries worn out (which they won't), I know all of the tunnel and it's roots like the back
of my hand. I turned on my flashlight and we made our way through the tunnel. It didn't take
us that long in order to find the opening to the Middleworld; its a small wooden door in
one of the many dead-ends on the other side of the tunnel. There is more than one opening
into the Middleworld, but we don't exactly know where those ones would take us.

I loOKed up at the wooden trapdoor hanging from the ceiling. The words MIDDLEWORLD: BECK'S
TAVERN were etched into the wood. This was the place we needed to go. "Allow me, Akadinia."
Nausdor said. He reached up and pulled on the rope hanging from the door. It gave way
immediately. Too soon, actually. In fact, the entire door splintered away, leaving a large
gaping hole in the ceiling. I glared at Nausdor. "Oops." He said, giving out a nervous
chuckle. This wasn't the first time Nausdor has brOKen the door to the tavern. And it certainly
wasn't the first he (and sometimes I) hasn't brOKen something that hasn't belonged to us. Now
we have to go and create another doorway to resemble almost exactly like the old one. "It's
OK, Midna and Lunder have more of these. They're the creators of the doorways, after all." I
sighed. Midna and Lunder are my sister and brother. They live together two blocks from
Beck's Tavern. "Just pick up all of the pieces and bring it with us." "Ok." Nausdor replied.

I hoisted myself up through the opening and was greeted by a face full of cobwebs. "ACK" I
gagged and started coughing and spitting. "Are you alright?" Nausdor called. "Yeah, fine." I
coughed. I stood up and started moving away all of the cobwebs. The tavern was filthy. It
loOKed as if no one has been in there for years. The tavern was empty except for an old box
and everything had a thick layer of dust. I also noticed some footprints that loOKed a little new.
"Uhh, a little help here?" Nausdor said. I saw his
gray hand appear at the opening. "Sure" I said, grabbing his hand and hoisting him up. He
grunted, and was finally able to stand himself upright in the room. "Wow, what a mess!"
Nausdor said, cringing his nose from the smell of the dust. "Alright, let's go." I said,
making my way towards the front door. "Hold it. You cannot bring your sword with us. Leave
it in the tavern in a safe place." Nausdor said. "Ugh. Fine." I grumbled, placing the sword
behind the wooden box. "Let's go."

We walked out of the tavern and turned toward the direction of Midna and Lunder's house.
After walking for a few minutes, I saw a girl and two boys all around the age of 15. They
didn't seem all that abnormal, but they all seemed to have a surrounding beauty within each
of them. The girl had black hair in a bob-cut fashion with blue eyes and the boy next to her
had blonde spiky hair with brown eyes. But that's not what attracted my attention. The
tallest boy there was incredibly handsome. He has brown straight hair that went down to his
ears, perfectly framing his face with ivory whitish-manila eyes with just a hint of gray.
I noticed that each of them wore the same uniform. 'They are probably in some sort of club'
I thought. I didn't realize I was staring at them until they all looked at me.

Nausdor then suddenly jabbed me in the back. "Let's go." he said. I looked away, and then
saw the robe. It was a dark reddish robe that had a red insignia of a speared carp on it.
I drew in my breath. "Nausdor, get in front of me and go into that ally in front of us." I
whispered. Nausdor did what he was told. "Turn your robe inside-out." I ordered. "What? why?"
Nausdor asked. "I saw Pondia's symbol on a robe that tall guy had. I think he is one of her
'henchmen'." Nausdor nodded and turned the robe inside-out and put it back on. I peeked out
of the ally, just in time to notice the strange trio go into the tavern. "My sword!" I
whispered. "They might find it!" I started to run after them. "No, Akadinia!" Nausdor said,
grabbing a hold of my arm. "It's too late now, they would have already seen it. By the way,
how could have Pondia known about us entering the Middleworld? Unless there was a spy among

"Uhh, heh heh..." I mumbled. "What did you do?" Nausdor ordered. Uh oh. I knew I was in
trouble. Suddenly I wasn't so keen at eating anymore. "I uh...kinda ran into one of Pondia's
'henchmen' at that last Underlord's castle." "And you didn't tell me?!?" he said in a harsh
whisper. "Sorry!" I replied. I could tell he was upset. "It's OK though! I killed him at the
castle." "Ugh! It doesn't matter! You still should've told me! Pondia's 'henchmen' have
tracking devices and recorders on them that go off whenever their heart stops beating. I
could've sent off a fake message so she wouldn't suspect anything." Nausdor was real angry
now. He relaxed quickly and regained his composure. "Never mind, too late now. We just have
to make our visit with your relatives shorter than we had hoped." Nausdor said. "Ok." I

We came up to a small cabin with smoke puffing up out of the chimney. The smell of sugar
cookies seeped through the door. The entire house seemed to give off a nice 'welcome home'
smell. This is where Midna and Lunder live. I knocked on the door. "Coming!" said a cheery
woman's voice from inside. A few seconds later, the door opened and a thin, rosy-cheeked
woman with blonde, curly hair appeared on the doorstep. "Akadinia! Nausdor! Welcome! Come on
in, I just baked a fresh batch of sugar cookies. I'm sure your hungry after your travels."
"Hello, Midna, good to see a friendly face again." I said, hugging my older sister. "Where's
Lunder?" "Oh, he's around here somewhere. Probably in the back room working on something."
We walked into the living room and the smell of the cookies quickly filled my nostrils. My
stomach began to growl insanely. "Hello, Midna. Sorry but we can't stay for long we are qu-"
Nausdor said. "Honey, who is it?" boomed a voice. Lunder and Midna pretend they are a
married couple when they are in the Middleworld, but don't worry. They don't kiss or
anything. Heck, they don't even share a bedroom with each other.

"You don't have to pretend, Lunder. It's our younger sister, Akadinia, with Nausdor. You
know, her warrior guardian?" Midna called. Lunder came into the doorway. He is a really tall
man with dark hair and a square jaw. He works in a lumbermill, so he has nice muscles. He's
actually quite handsome, for my dorky older brother. He looked down at me. "Akadinia! Great
to see you again. It's been what? Two, maybe three years?" he said. "Just about, but still
way too long." I said, giving him a hug. Lunder turned towards Nausdor. "Good to see you too,
Nausdor. Still alive, I see. That's good." Lunder said, shaking Nausdor's hand. "Y-yes. Good
to see you too, Lunder. But we really need you to quickly help us with something and then we
must be on our way. You see, one of Pondia's 'henchmen' is in the Middleworld, and there might
be more."

"Pondia? I never knew she went into the Middleworld, or send her 'henchmen' there. There's
no bones here, well no bones that she needs." Lunder said, his face and composure now serious.
"What can I do to help you?" Nausdor held up the broken pieces of the door. "We kind of broke
this and need a new one to replace it." Nausdor said." "We? You mean YOU broke the door." I
called. I was munching on some of Midna's cookies. Man I was STARVING! "Fine. I broke the
door. Are you happy now?" Nausdor called back. He turned towards Lunder. "Do you think you
can fix it?" he asked. Lunder took the pieces. "What was the door to?" "Beck's Tavern."
"No problem. Hmm, must've been past its three-year warranty. It was about time I needed to
replace it anyways, and your mistake gave me the excuse to go ahead and do it." Lunder went
into the back room and began working on the new door.

"So, how has your search been going?" Midna asked. She put another plate of cookies down on
the table. I grabbed another one. "It's going great." I said, placing the cookie into my
mouth. "I was able to get another bone from an Underlord, and I found a tooth from a rare
Ginda Troll in the castle that I was able to sell to Junx for 2,000 gudines." "2,000? Wow."
Midna replied. "Thanks for including me into the story." Nausdor grumbled." Midna and I
ignored him. "Uh, huh! You bet." I said. "So, how is Junx doing?" Midna asked. Nausdor and
I stopped eating and looked at each other. "Junx is dead." Nausdor replied, his face very
grave. Midna had the look of sadness, surprise, and horror on her face. There was an akward
silence. "Dead? How can that be?" she asked finally. Nausdor and I just looked down. "Soul
Sucker." he finally said. "Oh." Minda whimpered. "Are you guys ok? Nothing hurt or broken?"
she asked. "No." I said. "I was able to kill the beast before it got away." There was another
akward silence. I didn't eat anymore. It was too upsetting to eat when mourning for a lost

Lunder then came into the living room. "Alright, all fixed!" he said, a look of triumph on
his face. He looked and saw that we were all quiet. "Hey, why all the long faces?" he asked.
"I'll tell you later, Lunder." Midna replied. There was a hint of tears in the corners of
her eyes. Lunder's face became serious. "What happened? Tell me." he ordered. Nausdor then
stood up. "Well, we better be on our way. Thank you for the door, and hope to see you two
sooner than last time." he said. Lunder handed him the door. It looked exactly like the
old one, just not as flimsy and cracked. I hugged Midna and Lunder and we exchanged farewells,
then left the cabin.

We walked down the sidewalk in silence, Nausdor holding on to the new Afterlife door. "Do
you think it will be safe to enter into the same way we came? After all, Pondia's 'henchmen'
could be in there, waiting for us to come in and finish us off." I said. "I don't know. But
you should load your hand bow just in case." Nausdor replied. I pulled out my small poison
bottle and dipped my arrow into it and had it loaded. We were now just at the doorway to the
tavern. I slipped inside, my bow drawn. I looked around the roomed, and was actually suprised
to find it empty. I looked behind the box where I hid my sword. It was still there. 'Thank
goodness' I thought. "Nausdor, grab my ankles, I'm going to check out the tunnel and make
sure no one's down there" I said. Nausdor did what he was told. I lowered my self into the
tunnel, to find my self face-to-face with that cute guy I saw earlier with Pondia's robe.

I froze. "You ok, Kurkin?" I heard someone call from below. It's voice belonged to a female.
Probably that girl I saw with them. "Is everything ok, Akadinia?" Nausdor called from above.
He hadn't noticed the others yet. 'Kurkin, huh? Cute name' I thought. Kurkin and I stood there
for awhile. I felt my cheeks grow red-hot. "Kurkin! What's going on up there?" another voice
called out. This voice sounded like it might belong to the other boy I saw. Kurkin then
backed away and jumped down. "Meleki, Luke, back away." Kurkin said. Just then, I felt Nausdor's
grip on my ankle loosen. "Uhhhh, Akadinia? Is it sa-" Nausdor called. He accidentally dropped
me right then. "Ahh!" I called out in a suprised tone. "Wha-?"I heard a boy's voice say, as
I fell right into his arms. "Oomph!" I grunted once I landed. I looked at the boy. It wasn't
Kurkin, that's for sure. "Yeench!" he said with a suprised tone. Instantly, he dropped me and
was behind Kurkin.

"Ouch, hey watch it bub!" I said, dusting myself off. I quickly regretted it. Maybe they are
good guys and I had just ticked them off. My attention soon returned to my finger bow, now
laying on the ground. I quickly hid it behind my foot before anyone noticed. "Is it safe?"
Nausdor called down. I didn't say anything. There was an obvious tension in the air, both
sides waiting on who would go first. "Meleki, run over to Junx's shop. Luke, come with me."
Kurkin finally said, and began to walk away. "We'll meet with you later." Luke said to
Meleki. I went to go stop them, but quickly changed my mind. 'What if they really were some
of Pondia's 'henchmen'?' I thought. As much as I liked Kurkin, I couldn't take any chances.
I picked up my bow and aimed it at the back of his neck. I let go. It hit the target with
perfect aim. I let down my bow and waited for him to drop.

But he didn't drop. He just had a suprised look on his face, felt for the arrow, and pulled
it out of the back of his neck! I was stunned. He then turned and threw the arrow in my
direction. I cocked my head to one side so it wouldn't hit me, but it snagged my clothing on
my shoulder. I started breathing a little hard. This was definitely a situation too close
for comfort. I then saw the two heading for the opening of Beck's Tavern. "Nausdor, move!"
I yelled. "Halt!" I heard Nausdor yell, then dead silence. I feared the worse. "N-Nausdor?"
I called tentatively. "Yes, I'm fine, are you alright, Akadinia?" Nausdor replied. I breathed
a sigh of relief. "Yeah, I'm fine. You can come down now." Soon later, Nausdor's head popped
out of the hole, upside down. "Oh, hello there." He said in a cheerful tone. He then did
a backflip down and out onto the floor, landing on his feet. Man, for a 256 year-old, he can
sure move.

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