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I hear the howl of the wind as if it is telling me not to do this final act. Summoning all of my strength, I fight the wind, run across the astronomy tower of the castle, and leap off of it. As I fall, I feel the wind whipping my hair and blowing across my face. I unsheathe my swords and land with a soft thud with a whispered spell. I get up slowly and run off into the darkness. I am Robert Swordslasher.
I promised myself that I wouldn’t get involved with violence and magic, but I was about to find out that that was all about to change.
“RUN ROB! HURRY UP!” my mother yelled at me, “WE HAVE TO GET AWAY!” I looked up and saw my mom struggling to open a door to a basement in an old farmhouse. I start to run as fast as I can. “ROB! LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU!” as I’m about to turn around, I see a mechanical arm reach out to grab me. When I’m fully turned around, I see eight mechanical arms all reaching to grab me. At the last second, one mechanical arm lashes out of the red sky and slashes at my feet. I jump over it and another arm smacks me out of the sky. I land with a heavy thud on the ground.
“NO!” I hear my mom scream, “ROB GET UP, HURRY AND GET UP!”
I groan as I get up and turn to face my enemy. Giant mechanical robots from another world. I have no idea how they got here, and I don’t want to find out. They have a huge circular body with eight arms all around them. They have two huge legs and leave destruction in their wake. What I didn’t know is that there is a second one behind me and two of its eight arms are reaching out to push me forward. The only robot I see is trying to push me back.
“ROB LOOK OUT!” my mom screeched.
“Mom do you really think I don’t see an eighty foot tall robot in front of me?
“No not that one, the one behind you!”
“What one behind me?” As I turn around, I hear the wind whooshing as another pair of arms are trying to push me. Instinctively, I ducked. I hear four loud mechanical chinks as four mechanical arms missed me and smashed into the dirt making a huge dirt cloud blinding me.
“Rob you okay?”
“Yeah mom, just get the door open!”
“I’m trying, it just won’t budge!
I hear the robots retracting their arms for a second shot at squishing me. I get up, but due to my temporary blindness, my reflexes were too slow. As I stand up, four arms squish me.
“NO!” I hear my mom yell. Her voice was so faint, it sounded like she was ten miles away from me. “NO THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING!” As the arms are retracted once more, there is nothing in between them.
“Rob?” my mom’s voice was a feeble whisper. A sudden burst of wind and I’m standing next to my mom.
“Rob? Is that really you?” my mom asked hopefully.
“Y-Yeah. How did I get here?”
“I don’t know, but let’s hurry up and get this door open.
“Alright.” My mom and I both struggle to open the door. We shook the door so much that all the dirt piled up on top of it shook off. I wonder why this door won’t open even after all that shaking. Upon closer inspection, I see that the door has a huge lock on the front.
“Mom there’s a huge lock right on the front of the-“
“NOO!” I turn around and I saw my mom being snatched by a giant mechanical arm.
“Rob take this!” My mom threw her backpack at me. “It will always help you when you need it most!”
“What? How can a backpack help me?”
“You’ll understand later. Just take it and go!”
Wondering how a backpack would help me, I caught it anyway. “Thanks!” My mom always carried this backpack with her. If she was giving it to me, then it meant that she had no chance. I looked up just in time to see her go limp.
“NO! MOM! THIS CAN”T BE HAPPENING!!!!” I scream to her as many times as I can before my throat goes hoarse. I see the robot toss my mother behind it and continue marching towards me. As the robot continued to move toward me, I started to feel anger rush through my body as if there is a leak in the dam holding all this anger back, and the leak is getting bigger and bigger. After a few minutes, I don’t even feel like myself anymore. I feel like I’m somebody else now and my real self in being held prisoner against my will. I soon realize that I am being held prisoner in my own mind by a weird gel like substance. Every time I get past it, I get so tired that the gel just pushes me back like I’m not even there.
It’s getting smarter I realize after it get more and more difficult to escape my prison. Worried that I’ll never get out, I pretend to give up and remain prisoner in my own mind. At least I am able to see what my new self is doing. I blink into reality just as another arm is reaching out towards me. In the confusion, I manage to tell my body to get to the shed. After that the gel pushes me back and I am forced to see my own body do its work.
(P.o.v. inside head) I see the arm trying to grab me. I stay my ground and wait for the last second. At the last second, I jump to the side and the arm misses me by a narrow inch.
I’m never going to be safe until I open that door, I thought to myself. Then I came up with a plan. The gel only pushes me back but nothing else. So I came up with a plan. Somehow, I have to fool the gel into thinking I’m something else. Then I realized that I’m in my head, I can make anything happen. So I imagined a carpet, masks, and a body mold. Taking the carpet, I wrapped it around myself and jumped through the gel. The gel quickly found out however and pushed me back.
If the carpet didn’t work, I doubt the mask will I thought to myself. The body mold it is then. Placing the body mold in front of me, I walked into it and it immediately felt like it disappeared. I hope this works, I thought as I walked into the gel. Surprisingly, the gel seemed to be ignoring me. The mold must be pushing against the gel fooling it. I knew that this wasn’t going to hold up much longer, so I started running, well trying to run. It felt like walking in a vat of Jell-O. It wouldn’t easily part and it kept moving against me. After a while I slip through the gel and somehow tell my body my plan. After that, the gel grabs hold of me and pushes me back into my cell.
(P.o.v. continued) I run to the shed and try to get the door open. Then my body hatches a new plan. I stand on top of it and yell as loudly as I can, “HEY! I’M OVER HERE YOU IDIOT!” the robot turned around and started marching to me. I suddenly feel a weight drop into my bag. I reach into it and pull out a long silver sword. My body quickly improvised. As an arm reached out, I nimbly jumped and climbed up the arm to the joint and sliced it off. The arm swung off and slammed against the door breaking the lock and the door. I jumped in and hid in the darkest corner. As I jumped, the robot screeched backwards in pain making all the other robots turn and start walking toward me. While I was hiding, I saw that the sword had disappeared and upon closer inspection, the bag wasn’t ripped or torn in anyway. I waited until the robots turned away before I made my move. I stood up and found a flashlight. I turned it on and began to explore. I found some old discarded books, a bunch of broken twigs, a whole collection of weird symbols, and a pile of dirt. I pushed the dirt away and found a hidden door. The door looked beat up and scratched. I looked closer and saw what looked like scratches were actually the symbols I found earlier. There were a lot more symbols that I found than in the door. I picked up the symbols and laid them on the floor. I look at the door more closely and saw that it was seven symbols surrounding and eighth one. I took the eight needed symbols and put the rest in my bag. When I searched the room more closely, I found a pencil and a pad of paper. Very carefully, I drew the symbols, erased, and redrew until they were exactly the same. Then I repeated the process with the next eight symbols. A few minutes later, I packed up and placed the eight symbols on the door.
The moment the eight symbol touched the door, I regretted doing it. The symbols started to glow and with a loud whoosh, the door creaked open. Surprised, I blinked and then everything went dark. I shined the flashlight out of the giant hole and saw a robot inspecting the room more closely. I jumped back in shock. I had forgotten all about the robots. I decided to pack the books into my bag (you never know when a little extra reading might come in handy) and open the door and run inside. The moment the door closed, I heard a mechanical arm shoot inside destroying everything in its path. When the reign of destruction was over, I peeked outside and saw that everything but the area around the twigs was obliterated. Curious, I made sure that the robot wasn’t coming back, dumped the twigs into my bag, turned the flashlight on and walked into the tunnel.
This tunnel wasn’t like any other. When the light from the flashlight hit the walls, the walls didn’t light up. Instead, they just stayed black and seemed to absorb the light. A little bit scared now, I cautiously walked forward through the tunnel, making sure to point the flashlight ahead of me. Around 15 minutes later, I felt a chill in the air and my watch stopped working.
Aw man, I thought to myself I got this watch for Christmas last year. A while later, the flashlight stopped working. Panicked, I reached into my bag. It always seemed to give me what I needed when I needed it. I pulled out a small matchbook. I took out a match and stroke it against the back. Now with a tiny source of light, I moved forward. After using up about 5 matches, I saw another door. Not wanting to waste anymore matches, I ran forward.
I’m starting to wish I never started running. As soon as I started running, I dropped my match book. My match was running out of steam. I figured I had about 30 seconds left but I still had 5 minutes to reach the door.
Well standing around isn’t gunna help I decided and continued to run forward. I turned around and started running backwards to prevent the match from blowing out any sooner. As I kept running, I wondered why the match wouldn’t blow out. It must have been over 30 seconds already, so why didn’t it blow out? All of a sudden I felt a bump. Nervously, I turn around expecting to see a monster or something.
When I turn around, I saw the door in front of me. as I get over my fears, I inspect the door more closely. I saw that it also needed 8 symbols to open it. As I am struggling to get it open, the flashlight falls and it starts to flicker back to life
Oh now it decides to work I think to myself. Very carefully, I point the flashlight to the door. Once it almost hit the wall but I managed to stop it time. Then placing it on the pile of books I found earlier, I manage to make it stay still. I examine the symbols and manage to memorize the exact order, when I hear a voice.
“Go ahead, put them in.” Startled, I turned around but nobody was there. “You can’t see me as I am not here right now.” The voice was as smooth as butter and felt like silk. I was wondering since the voice can talk to me through thought, if I can talk to the voice with thought.
“Who if not what are you and where are you?”
“I am in Fragrill. Who I am is not important right now.”
“What or where is Fragrill?”
“It is in the land of Krevnar. Just put those symbols in the door and you will be there.”
“No! Don’t do it! Don’t listen to him!” A new voice said. It was a rough voice and yet strangely familiar. “Don’t listen to him! He’s trying to get you to release the beast!”
“What beast?” I asked.
“An ancient creature that leaves terror and destruction in its wake. It is bloody red and 80 feet tall. All parts of its body are dangerous. The head is covered in spikes that are 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall. The tail is covered with numerous spikes that are 5 feet wide and 6 feet tall. The back is covered with scales that conceal retractable spikes. They are filled with poison and can even impale the toughest material. Natural or manmade. The belly of the beast is hardest to get to although it is the only weak spot it has. The belly is protected by a wall of rock hard scales that dig into the ground and destroy everything.
Nobody has ever managed to kill the beast although we did manage to subdue it and trap it in a prison for a few thousand years. The only way we managed to do that was to take seven of the most powerful witches and warlocks and use a deadly spell that will kill if done wrong. It was supposed to weaken the monster enough to kill it, but something went wrong and they all died. The beast was just put to sleep for a very long time.”
“Don’t believe him. After all, the whole thing does sound ridiculous.”
“You have to believe me. You would be putting millions of lives at stake if you don’t. You see those symbols? Flip them around.” I did as I was told and saw a new set of symbols.
“How will these fit?” I asked the rough voice.
“Those are the same symbols look closer.” I did as I was told but still saw a difference. “They are just backwards” The rough voice said. “They will still fit and you will be transported to Krevnar. When you get there, look for a place called Sreidlos Modeerf Eht. Then ask for Matt Krim.”
“Don’t do it!” the smooth voice said. “You will be making the wrong choice if you do.”
“Remember to make the right choice. The fate of millions rest in the choice you make.”
The voices left my head and left me to make my decision in silence. I couldn’t really decide. On one hand, there were no such things as the beast that was described, but on the other hand, the rough voice sounded really convincing. Deciding not to take any chances, I flipped the symbols and inserted them. There was another whoosh of light like the first time and bright light and I walked through.
The king of the Freedom Soldiers was pacing around nervously. The king was of a tall build and had a fierce look in his eyes that would make even the bravest man cower in fright. It was the eyes of someone who has seen many wars and blood loss.
The king was in a grand hall which stretched for so long, you had to wonder if it ended at all. Its design was to shape it in a dome with golden chandeliers as a ballroom, but due to a mis-design (and a few drunken architects); it is shaped in an arch with diamond chandeliers. The walls were made of the finest materials. It is one inch thick, 50 feet tall and 30 feet wide. It is strong enough to withstand the strongest natural force in the world.
As the king continued to pace around, a man walked up to him. He was built like the king, but without the burning fire in his eyes. He did however, a wizened look in his eyes confirming that there was more to this man than meets the eye.
“Sire? The soldiers ha-“
“Aragorn, after all these years why must you address me so? Stop with the formalities, we are old friends after all.”
“Yes si- I mean yes Axel.”
“That’s better. Now continue your report.”
“The soldiers have defeated the troops from Zerstörer. We have seized control over it and now only have 5 more cities to capture until we reach Sethin.”
“Good job Aragorn, now we need to calm the people. Give them a feast in the honor of the battle we have won today. After that, we need to find the Roamers.”
“They have not been found in a millennium! How can we find them?”
“We need to travel back to Vadovar.”
“Will we find them there?”
“You will see.” Aragorn and Axel both walked to the end of the hall which was a dead end and then with a burst of light, they vanished.
Two of the thousands of guards were fighting when they reappeared. While they were fighting, what appeared to be a pile gold was under them.
“Well I reckon that this gold is mine as it was under my tent!”
“Yeah well I dug it up so it’s mine!”
“What is going on here?” questioned Axel.
“I found some gold under this man’s tent and dug it up but he says the gold is his!” one of the guards said.
“Because it is mine!” yelled the other guard. And they kept fighting verbally and sometimes got into a fight physically. The Axel and Aragorn were astounded that the fight could last so long. As they were fighting, the villagers took the gold little by little until none remained. It was at that time that Axel decided to clear his throat. The guards stopped yelling at each other and looked at Axel.
“Look underneath you and tell me what you see.” Both of them looked underneath them and saw nothing but dirt.
“What the, where did all the gold go?”
“This is the price you must pay if you are going to take but not give. If you ever find something, report to me or if it is big enough, split it among the people. You are role models for the villagers. You fight for them. What would they think of you if you are just fighting?” both guards hung their heads in shame as they realized that the king was right.
“I’m sorry old friend.”
“Not as sorry as I am.” Both guards shook hands and walked off to their posts. Aragorn looked at the king in amazement.
“I know those two and if anybody had spoke the exact same words as you have just now, they would have ripped the person’s head clean off. How did you manage to survive?”
“Mind control.” said Axel tapping his temple. “I am not an ordinary man. At the age of 3 I have been able to make people do what I want to. This gift may come in handy in some places. There are many weaknesses that come with it though.”
“I could use it for evil if I wanted to.”
“Why would you want to?”
“Temptations have come across me in the past old friend. I would never use it for evil now though. I am stronger than I was in the past.”
“Well that’s a relief.”
“What defines evil though? Does the person who is doing what acts we call evil think he is evil? No. He thinks he is the one doing the right things. Such is the way of ignorance.”
“Let us go rest. We have a big day tomorrow.”
“Are you using your mind control gift again?”
“Maybe, maybe not. Do you not know me that well?”
“I really don’t know what you are doing anymore.”
“I would never use it against you.”
“Okay then. Let’s go. Lest we risk anymore fights.” Aragorn and Axel walk through Vadovar looking at the people who have become rich in the past few minutes.
“Ah the spoils of war. People get rich over other people fighting. It makes you wonder what the purpose of war really is don’t you think?”
“I guess so. But isn’t it to defend ourselves?”
“Yes that could be an argument, but we can use magic to solve our problems. We could set a spell so people forget why they are fighting.”
“But that could take centuries.”
“We have all the time in the world my friend. All the time in the world.” as he said that, Axel was trying to figure out how to stop the villagers from attacking the elves. He has learned a lot from them and it would be a poor way to pay them back by executing them. Raising his right hand he yelled, “Krevlan Gamor!” after a few seconds, what looked like a silver bullet came to rest in his hand. It was a sword with a golden cross guard with a ruby hilt. It has a diamond in the pommel and the light bouncing off of it are twinkling stars. He pulls the sword and unsheathes it and examines the blade. It is silver and narrow enough to slide through armor, yet strong enough to last a fight. He sheaths his sword and walks to the castle with Aragorn.
I step out of the tunnel and into an even weirder place. The color of the sky and earth are normal, but that’s about it. The trees are twisted and impossible to compare its height with something else. Take the biggest thing you have ever seen, make it a hundred times bigger and it still won’t compare. The buildings look like they are made out of the trees and look built into them as well. Above the trunks are assortments of tree houses arranged perfectly for ambush. The insects (if I can call them that), are bizarre as if multiple species were combined into one. As I walk closer to the Tree Village (what I decided to call them), I see humanoid figures approaching me. As we got closer to each other, I examined their faces. They looked like humans only they have pointed ears, slender faces, and they look a lot taller too.
“Who are you and where do you come from?” asked one of the humanoids.
“I am Robert Swordslasher and I come from Earth. Where is this place and who are you?”
“This is the land of Krevnar.” The name had rung a bell. “We are elves and we wish to show something to you.” Wondering what it could be, I followed them to the Tree Village. When we got there, I saw more elves running around and trying to catch what looked like nothing but air. As we walked through the village I saw what appeared to be another elf, but when she turned around, I saw that she too was a human. She had long black hair, a slender form, hollowed cheek bones, and gorgeous green eyes. My heart melted as soon as I saw her and my body grew warm -a feeling that had never happened to me before. I felt a strange obsession, like I was going mad. She walked over to me with a bowl of what looked like blue paint.
“Welcome to Kre-” she cut herself off as she realized that I had the same facial features as her. “Do you come from Earth?” she asked.
“Yes do you as well?”
“Yes I do. Do you know what year it is?”
“I don’t know. Why do you ask?”
“I’ve been here for 2 years but I feel like it has been longer than that.”
“Ok… my name is Robert. What is yours?”
“My name is Diane.”
“Nice to meet you Diane. You have such a beautiful name.”
“Same to you Robert.” While we were talking, I didn’t notice an elf sneaking up behind me. It was when I heard the air parting that I managed to dodge the punch that an elf was aiming at my head. I turned, grabbed his arm, and flipped him on the floor.
“Who are you and what are you doing?”
“This is Matthew Kram.”
“Nice to meet you Mr…”
“Nice to meet you Robert.”
“So why were you trying to punch me?”
“Forgive me but I will explain later. Right now I must report to the queen.”
“Okay…” Robert turned to Diane, “What was that all about?”
“This happens to everyone who comes here from Earth. An elf is sent to test the person.”
“There is a legend that says a person that comes from Earth who can hear what others can’t is the one who can save us from King Drakon.”
“Who is that?”
“The evil ruler who is trying to destroy us. He is destroying the land and kills everybody who stands against him.”
“And were you tested?”
“Yes I was but I failed. I have a huge bruise on my leg. It never seems to heal. These elves have ways to heal that would make even the most professional doctors look like amateurs. The bruise never seems to leave no matter what they try.
“I see. Let’s walk shall we?”
“Okay.” We walk through the Tree Village and I see elves running around pressing their palms on trees and whispering under their breath. When they seem to have finished, they walk away and the trees seemed to grow into a house. When I visited one, it looked just like a normal house. There were tables, chairs, a sink, and practically everything in a house. When I asked how it was done, the elves just simply said, “We use magic to shape the breath of the trees.” When I asked what that meant, the elves just simply ignored me and started working on another tree.
When we got to the center of the Tree Village, I saw a sign hanging over head that read: Sreidlos Modeerf Eht. When you see the sign that says Sreidlos Modeerf Eht, ask for Matt Krim I remembered the rough voice say.
“Umm Diane? Can you wait outside for a minute? I need to check something out.”
“Huh? Oh yeah sure.” She replied. When I turned back to her, I saw that she was transfixed by a statue of an old man with a long beard. I turn around and head into the shop.
I walk into the shop half hoping that I would be able to find Mr. Krim, but sadly, that wasn’t the case. When I walked inside, the shop was empty. I looked around; all I saw was an empty paint shop. I walked back out to make sure this was the right shop. It was. I walked back in and wondered why Mr. Krim wanted me to come here. I run my hands along the wall while I walk around the shop. When I reached the back of the shop, I found some stones that stood out. I thought maybe those books from the cellar might help. I reached into my bag and found only one book there. Man this bag is weird. I thought to myself. I leaf through the book and find a page that has the same looking stones as the one on the wall. I wonder what to do when I see some strange writing on the bottom of the page. I mark it just in case I might need it later on. As I look at the page, I see that the stones are in a different order. As I compare them to the stones on the wall, I am able to guess what those strange writing might mean. The stones are the same shape and size, but they are in a different order. I push the stones in the wall according to the order they appear in the book. Nothing happens. Perplexed, I walk outside to find Diane overlooking the building of what seemed to be a tunnel.
“What is all this?”
“We are building an entrance for the dwarfs.” She explained.
“Dwarfs? But there is no such thing as dwarfs.” I protested.
“Did you think there were such things as elves before you came here?”
“No. I guess dwarfs can exist here then.” Just then an animal that looked like a wolf came pounding out of the forest and came to rest at her side. “Who is this?
“Oh this is Aasim. He is my mind partner.”
“What’s a mind partner?”
“A mind partner is a creature that you are connected with through your thoughts.”
“Where can I find a mind partner? Where did you find yours? Can you talk to them just by your thoughts?”
“You have a lot of questions don’t you?” Diane teased.
“I have many things to wonder about this is my first time here.”
“Fair enough, you cannot find a mind partner. The creature that is destined to be your mind partner finds you. They become you mind partner depending on who you are. As for mine, I found mine wandering around in the forest of Ton-ackden. He was fighting with the U’urnbur. Before the creature becomes your mind partner, they act like any other creature. When they become your mind partner, your mind and their mind combine. The creature becomes calm and they listen to you. Don’t be fooled though. Only the most intelligent of creatures can become a mind partner. They can talk to you but through thoughts only. You can talk to them with your thoughts and your voice.”
“Where is Ton-ackden? Who is the U’urnbur? How does the creature become a mind partner?”
“You never run dry do you?”
“It’s a trait I’m proud of.”
“Ton-ackden is in Eld’dyna. It is in the south-west region of Krevnar. In English Ton-ackden means traveler’s doom. The U’urnbur is not who but what. They are a type of wolf like Aasim here, but they are twice as big and they destroy everything. A creature becomes your mind partner when you both make eye contact. The minds of both of you fuse together connecting you in everything but body."
“Do most people here have mind partners?”
“All the people here have mind partners. They are just hard to find.”
“Where can I find mine?”
“Don’t worry. Your mind partner will come to you someday. Now follow me” she walked to the edge of the tunnel and jumped down. I soon followed.