Chapter 9


Chapter 9: Everything That Glitters…

I struggled to move and somehow free myself, but I couldn’t. I felt my heart beating in my chest like a wild, trapped animal. Edith’s spear thrusted forward and I closed my eyes tightly unable to bear the sight. I heard Nyah gasp and opened my eyes again to see Edith standing alone, Norio was nowhere in sight. She missed and was now looking around frantically on the defensive.

Edith -What!? Show yourself boy!

Her voice slightly tembled, she was worried. Out of the darkness came three brightly burning spheres hurling from behind her. She turned around and was forced to fling herself backward onto the ground to avoid the fireballs. They soared over her but returned towards her again. This time she braced herself and the orbs made contact with her. Instead of being engulfed in flames, the orbs were absorbed into her. A triumphant smirk graced her lips and she held her spear in front of her defensively.

Edith – Nice try! Did you think your little flames could damage ME!? My armor is made from the strongest dragon scales!

She mocked him. A bright light shined from the left of the field and I could see Norio now. He had another arrow ready to strike her and that familiar neutral stare in his eyes.

Norio – Those were no ordinary flames!

He shouted at her before loosing his arrow. This arrow seemed different. As it sped towards her it began to shine blue. Edith was ready for it. The raised her spear to deflect the arrow, however the arrow went straight through the spear and pierced her armor. Her eyes widened with shock and she dropped her spear.

Edith – …H-How?

Norio’s eyes slowly became illuminated in the darkness with a golden glow. I didn’t know what to think of the sight.

Norio – As I said before, there’s a lot more to me than meets the eye…

He lowered his bow and with the wave of his hand, Edith was suddenly engulfed in blue flames that appeared to start from the inside out. She began screaming and crying out as she collapsed to the ground. The man who had created the unnatural earthquake began running towards Norio in a fit of rage.

Hunter 1 – You’ll pay you rat!

Norio didn’t reply to the hunter’s small minded insult and simply stood his ground. He seemed oddly calm considering he was being approached by someone with the ability to break solid earth without even blinking.

Malaika – Norio be careful!

Norio spared a glance up at me and smiled before looking back towards the approaching hunter. The man stopped about ten feet away from Norio and took a crouching position. His hands dug into the earth and I could see the ground trembling again. I knew he was going to try to bury Norio as he attempted to do with my sister and I before. The ground began splitting and trembling in a direct path towards Norio. Even still, Norio was perfectly still. As the cracks in the earth got closer to him the ground started to sink in all around him.

Hunter 1 – Die filth!

The man shouted angrily as his power collapsed the ground. When the earth stopped crumbling just short of Norio, it was like a whiplash effect happened. The ground remained solid beneath Norio but the destruction magic suddenly began traveling back towards it’s owner. The hunter looked just as surprised as we were.

Hunter 1 – Inconceivable!

Norio – You really thought that I forgot about you two idiots?

The ground sunk in and collapsed beneath the hunter and he fell into the darkness of the earth, along with the smoldering corpse of his former commander. The magic looked to be out of control as it continued to collapse all of the earth in the field. The second hunter looked confused about what to do and began to run in the opposite direction of his imminent demise. To save his own skin, he released his hold on my sister and I, but unfortunately we began free falling towards the growing hole in the ground.

Nyah – Malaika!

Malaika – Nyah! Take my hands!

As we fell, we reached for each other. Once we managed to get a firm hold of each other’s hands, I closed my eyes tightly. I didn’t know how we’d escape from this. As I thought this, I felt arms around my waist and my eyes sprung open. I looked up to see that my sister and I were in Norio’s arms. There were large wings coming from his back that were engulfed in golden flames. He brought us down to solid grown away from the massive, gaping hole in the field. The second hunter was still running and had managed to outrun the destruction. When Nyah and I were standing on our own feet again, we both stared at Norio with shocked expressions. His impressively large wings faded away and his dark eyes were normal again. He looked to either of us seeming to wait for a reaction.

Nyah – I’ve never seen magic like that, EVER. Where did you learn it?

Norio – It’s not something that one can learn I’m afraid…I hoped I wouldn’t need to use that power but, I had no choice.

Norio knelt down before us then and my sister and I looked at each other curiously.

Norio – I beg you both, please do not tell anyone what you saw. You both must keep this to yourselves and never speak of it. If anyone were to know of my power I won’t be able to protect you again.

Nyah – What about the hunter that got away?

Norio – Let me worry about him. I just need the word of your majesty that neither of you will speak of what you saw.

Malaika – Of course, we will keep your seceret safe.

Nyah – You have our word. We promise not to speak of this.

Norio – Thank you for your kindness…

Norio said as he stood again. His eyes found mine and I found myself unable to look at him. I didn’t know what to say either. What was I to make of what I saw? First, I found out a small portion of his dark past and now this mysterious power that was too dangerous to speak of? Who was he really? I was beginning to question my own judgement as we continued relying on his protection. The more that was revealed about him, the more mysterious he became. I wondered if I could ever really know him, or fully trust him.