Beast Blades, Chapter 4: Meeting the Merchant

beast blades

Lucas sat in between Apollos and Tara on the hard wooden seat of the wagon, his head nodding forward to the monotonous clip-clop of the horses hooves. Tara and Apollos weren’t speaking to each other again, after arguing seven times already that day about whether Tara should be allowed to come with them, and how Apollos should come and join the rebellion in Falance. Lucas came between them and played the part of the mediator each time, and he was enjoying the silence.

Tara took up her argument once again, breaking the silence. “Admit it Apollos, having Luxaquila and Tywodvri traveling with you would make a valuable addition to your team! I’ve seen the kind of odds you are going up against, and Lord Geraldo will only continue to send more dangerous beast blades after you!”

Apollos grunted. “Which is exactly why you can’t come with us. I’ll not allow a young maiden like yourself endanger yourself in such a way! I cannot in good conscious allow you to travel with us any further than Sharen city!”

Tara threw her hands up in frustration. “I’m a member of the rebellion in Farlance! I was on the front lines daily! How can what you are dealing with be any more dangerous in that!”

“It’s more dangerous because you only have Lucas and myself verses the most dangerous foes Geraldo has at his disposal, instead of an army and the…”

Lucas groaned in frustration. “Haven’t you two had this argument enough, yet? Can’t we talk about something else?”

Apollos nodded his head. “Yes, I agree. I have heard more than enough about this argument. Tara, why don’t you tell us more about the rebellion?”

Tara smiled. “After five years of fighting against Geraldo’s minions, we’re finally beginning to make some progress. We’re regaining lost ground for the first time, it might not be much yet, but once I get some new supplies to our fighters, we’ll finally drive Geraldo out of Falance.”

Lucas smiled. “That’s great, Tara. Maybe once you take back your country, other countries will band up and fight against Geraldo too.”

Apollos frowned. “I’m afraid that isn’t going to happen, Lucas. General Aldrick’s reassignment is proof of that.”

Tara leaned forward and looked at Apollos past Lucas. “I’m sorry, Apollos, what was that? You doubt the might of the people of Falance?”

“I’ll admit that the rebellion in Falance has done better than the other provinces, but it has also only faced the least of Geraldo’s generals, because up to this point Falance hasn’t been a threat to Geraldo.”

Tara’s face turned beat red in indignation. “Hasn’t been a threat?! We were the first province to rise up in rebellion! What bigger threat is there?”

Apollos’ face fell. “You were the first to rise up in rebellion because you were the first, outside of the capital, to fall. Geraldo has been more focused on conquering the remaining provinces than managing the ones he’s already taken. I fear you have made a fatal error in gaining Geraldo’s attention.”

Tara laughed. “Fatal error? And what error would that be? Is becoming an inspiration to the other provinces, showing them that this fight can be won, an error?”

Apollos answered in a sorrowful whisper. “You foolish girl, Geraldo is sending Aldrick against you to create an example of you. Once he is finished with you there won’t be a member of your rebellion alive. The people of Falance’s extermination will become a statement: rebel against Geraldo, and the same will happen to you.”

Tara raised her hands up to her face in horror and Lucas turned to Apollos. “We have to help them, Apollos! We can’t just let all those people be killed!”

“And what difference could you and I make, Lucas? General Aldrick is as skillful as he is clever. He won’t make a move against the rebellion until he has a full grasp of their numbers and resources, and believe me, when he makes that move, the fight won’t last for long.”

Tara allowed herself a weak smile. “That’s where we’ll have the advantage, Apollos. We can beat him there, bring in new supplies and beast blades, and have two new members without him even knowing it! You could be our secret weapon!”

Lucas nodded. “She’s righ, Apollos. I don’t care what kind of strategy they throw against us; with a legendary beast blade and your skill with the sword, they won’t be able to stop us.”

Apollos turned his head away from Lucas and Tara. “It wouldn’t be enough. General Aldrick is almost as skilled with the sword as I am, and Pyrequine isn’t at full strength yet. Maybe if you had two or three legendary beast blades it could make a difference, but against Aldrick, one isn’t nearly enough.”

Tara’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. “You speak as if you know Aldrick personally.”

“Aldrick and I may have crossed paths a time or two in the past, but that isn’t important.”

Tara frowned at Apollos. “If you know something about Aldrick, you have to tell me, Apollos! Anything could prove useful in defeating him.”

Apollos flicked the reins to get the horses moving faster. “I’ve already told you the only thing you need to know. If you are smart you will go back to Falance and disband your rebellion and disappear as fast as you can.”

Tara glared at Apollos. “You must know more than that.” A look of realization came over her face. “I see how it is, you won’t tell me anything useful because if the rebellion got the information, then we would be able to beat Aldrick before you can! You want to hog all the glory for yourself!”

Apollos turned and glared at Tara. “Glory?! I would never leave a group of people to be slaughtered for any reason if I could help to prevent it, and certainly not to pursue personal glory! I am traveling with Lucas to keep him safe while he searches for the legendary beast blades because it’s the only way that Lord Geraldo will be defeated!”

Tara raised her finger and pointed it at Apollos. “Who said that the legendary beast blades are the only thing that can defeat Geraldo? You’re a coward, Apollos! You won’t even try to fight against him!”

Lucas stood up on the bench of the wagon and held his hands to his head. “That’s enough from both of you! Tara, if Apollos says that he doesn’t know anything useful about Aldrick, why should you doubt him? And, Apollos, why must everything turn into an argument about Tara? We are traveling together as far as Sharen City, can we attempt to make it more than five miles without everything turning into an argument?” Apollos and Tara looked up at Lucas. The cart went over a bump and sent Lucas sprawling onto the bed of the wagon with a bump.

Apollos and Tara looked at Lucas with concern, but once Lucas started getting up, their concern turned into laughter. Lucas glared at the two of them, and Apollos wiped tears from his eyes. “Are you alright?”

Lucas grumbled as he climbed back onto the seat. “No one back at the plantation would laugh at somebody if they fell over like that. They would all check to see if you were injured. Not my friends though; they would rather laugh like a pair of lunatics than help a guy.”

Tara put an arm around Lucas’ shoulder, and tried to get her laughter under control. “Come now, Lucas. We didn’t start laughing until we were sure you were alright. Tell me more about the plantation that you are from.”

Lucas looked at Tara suspiciously for a few moments, and then broke into a smile. “Sure, though there really isn’t much to tell. We woke up before the dawn each day and worked until the sun set. The Acerbi that guarded us always pushed us to work harder, and barely gave us a chance to eat. We were fortunate that they let us hunt the animals that fed on the crops. Without the added nutrition they offered, we would have wasted away to nothing. The food they provided us with wasn’t enough to keep us going alone.”

Tara looked at Lucas with concern in her eyes. “That sounds like a horrible life. I’m glad that you were able to escape it.”

Apollos’ hands formed into fists around the reins. “That is the kind of existence that Geraldo has in mind for any who don’t support him. That is the reason he must be defeated and dethroned.”

Lucas nodded. “Life wasn’t always like that, though. Things were much happier on my family’s farm. The work may have been hard, but we were happy together, and we always had enough to eat. My mother used to make the the most delicious cakes for my birthdays.” Lucas smiled at the memory, but then sorrow crossed his face. “Then they came. General Caine burned our house to the ground, stole our food stores. My parents and older brother fought against him, but he laughed as he struck them down. He took my little sister and me captive, but we were separated. I ended up on the plantation, and I don’t know what became of my sister.”

Tara’s voice betrayed the tears that threatened to pour from her eyes. “I’m sorry to hear that, Lucas. What is your sister’s name?”

“Her name is Lyla, and I’m going to find her someday. Once Geraldo is defeated, and this country is safe for everyone to live in again, I’ll find my sister.”

Apollos nodded his head. “Geraldo will pay for what he has done to your family, Lucas, and I vow to help you find your sister one day.” The group rode on in silence for a distance, and then Apollos pointed ahead of them. “There they are: the walls of Sharen City.”

Ahead, over the trees loomed white stone walls fifty feet high that gleamed in the midday sun. Towers of various colors rose up above the walls, with bridges spanning between them. Lucas squinted and thought he could make out shapes moving in between the towers, and he swallowed hard. He didn’t think that he would be able to force himself to walk those towers, not unless they had some guardrails or were protected with some kind of magic to prevent you from falling. From the tops of all of those towers flew Geraldo’s flag, another part of his conquest.

Lucas turned to Apollos. “Why are we going to a city controlled by Geraldo? We’ll be captured and turned over to him!”
“Relax, Lucas, Geraldo conquered this city  long ago, and his forces are spread throughout the country. It’s true that there will be guards there, but as long as we don’t do anything to draw attention to ourselves we’ll be allowed to move about freely.”

“Geraldo allows men to sell beast blades freely? I would think he would claim all the beast blades he could lay his hands on and use them for his forces.”

Apollos smiled. “You’re right, Lucas. We’re not going to anyone that sells beast blades openly. Sharen city has an underground frequented by the rebellion. Most of the beast blade merchants were captured and their wares confiscated by Geraldo, but a few were able to carry their goods into the catacombs and disappear. It is one of those that we go to see.”

Tara nodded her head in agreement. “The rebellion usually sends someone twice a year to gather more beast blades for our new recruits. We usually meet with a merchant named Malcolm.”

Apollos grunted. “Malcolm is the name of the man I am going to meet with as well. Looks as if our paths continue together longer than I wanted.” Apollos pointed a finger at Tara. “Our paths part once we are finished with our business in the city, even if I have to tie you up and leave you with Malcolm. Do you understand?”

Lucas shook his head and Tara sighed. “Of course. I need to get back to the rebellion as soon as possible. They will want news of my grandfather’s passing and be looking for new leadership. The only way that our paths wouldn’t part would be if you and Lucas were to come back with me.”

Apollos opened his mouth to begin shouting again, but Lucas held up his hand. “Not again, We’re almost to the city. Can we make it there without the two of you getting into another argument?”

Apollos frowned, but said nothing. They continued on in silence until they reached the gates of the city. The gates stood twenty feet tall and when fully opened were wide enough for ten men to walk through side by side. Guards stood on either side of the opened gates, watching streams of people pass in and out of the city. Apollos slowed the horses’ pace to meet that of the crowds.

One of the guards stepped in front of their wagon. “Stop!” Apollos reined in the horses, and Lucas looked at the guard nervously.

Apollos smiled back at the guard. “What seems to be the problem, watchman?”

The guard glared back at them. “The west gate is for pedestrians only. If you want to bring a wagon in you have to go through the north gate.” The guard pointed to the north.

Apollos bowed his head to him. “Forgive my ignorance, sir. Sorry for holding up your line.” Apollos turned the horses and started for the north gate. Lucas let out a sigh of relief.

The guard called after them, “Hold it!” Apollos stopped the horses once more, and sweat appeared on his brow. The guard walked up to the front of the wagon and looked up at Apollos. “It’s rare for travelers to come into the city with an empty wagon. What business do you have here?”

Lucas’ eyes filled with panic, and Apollos started to stutter back a reply, but it was Tara that answered the man. “Sir, our parents’ farm was burned down in Falance province because of the fighting. We lost everything that day, sir, including our parents. Our grandfather brought us here to get some seed and food to try and start a new life here, away from the fighting.”

The guard shook his head sympathetically. “Aye, if only the other countries would accept Lord Geraldo’s rule then we wouldn’t hear sad stories like yours. Go ahead, get your supplies. You should be safe enough, here.”

Apollos nodded his head to the soldier. “Thank you, sir.” He flicked the reins and got the horses moving again.

Tara smiled. “You know, Apollos, if it wasn’t for my quick thinking you would have been in some real trouble back there. Maybe you should let me travel with you, I might be more useful than you are willing to admit.”

Apollos frowned. “Once we are within the city walls you are on your own, Tara.” The horses pulled the wagon along the dirt path that lead along the wall to the north gate, where they joined in the line of wagons waiting to get into the city. After a few minutes the wagon finally pulled into the city. Apollos drove the wagon to an inn whose sign read, “The Rogues Gamble” and had the image of a hooded figure with a dagger plunged into a table with a pair of dice bouncing across it.

The group climbed down from the wagon, and Apollos sent Lucas to gather up their belongings from the back of the wagon. Apollos reached into his purse and pulled out a silver piece to give to the stable boy that came out to meet them and gave him instructions for the care of the horses. After that they all walked into the inn together, but didn’t see the shadowy form rise up from the shadow cast by their wagon.

The innkeeper looked up from his bar when they walked in, and put down the mug that he was wiping with his apron. “Greetings travelers, and welcome to The Rogues Gamble. Can I interest you in rooms and a hot meal? Perhaps a mug or two of wine? The Rogues Gamble boasts the best ale in the city as well.”

Apollos smiled warmly at the innkeeper. “Aye, we will take two rooms for the night and a hot meal, but we will see to that when we get settled into our rooms.”

The innkeeper bowed his head. “Of course, sir. If you would just follow me I will show you to your rooms.” The group followed the innkeeper, who introduced himself as Derek, up the stairs in the back of the common room. Apollos and Derek chatted on the way up the stairs about what news there was to be had. Derek spoke of the fighting in the surrounding provinces, but said not to worry because Lord Geraldo’s soldiers would prevent any fighting from breaking out in the city. He also told of a pair of troublemakers, an old man and a boy, that were causing trouble near the plantations in Kilke.

Derek put his key into the locks on the two doors across from each other at the end of the hall, bowed and excused himself. Tara took her belongings from Lucas and walked into the room on the right side of the hall, and Lucas and Apollos walked into the one on the left. Once they were inside their room, Apollos pulled back the blanket that covered their belongings and revealed their beast blades.

Apollos pushed the solitary bed in the room to the side and pulled up a portion of the floor to reveal a small cubby hole. Lucas looked at the hole hesitantly. “Are you sure that its a good idea for us to leave our beast blades here?”

“Yes, I’ve been to this inn many times, and the innkeeper may speak of the praises of Geraldo, but he is in rebellion against him such as anyone else. Either way, its much safer to leave them here than to carry them openly in the city. Let’s unpack our things and go down for some food. It’s been quite a while since I’ve had a homemade meal, and I am looking forward to having one.”

Lucas and Apollos unpacked their belongings and walked into the hall the same time that. Apollos looked at Tara with concern. “Did you hide your beast blades the way that I told you to?”

Tara rolled her eyes. “Of course I did. I’m no fool. I am hungry, however.” With that she turned and walked down the hall to the stairs.

Apollos shook his head and started muttering, “One more meal and then I will be rid of her.” Apollos and Lucas started down the hall after Tara. Once Apollos reached the bottom of the stairs, he saw Tara seated at one of the tables along the wall in the crowded common room. Many of the tables were full of men laughing over the mugs of wine and ale, and a small stage had been set up at the front of the room, where two men sat, one playing a flute and the other strummed on a harp, and a woman danced and sang in accompaniment. Apollos and Lucas joined Tara at her table moments before a serving girl stopped at their table.

The serving girl smiled at Apollos. “What can I get for you and your grandchildren, sir?”
Apollos smiled back. “I will have a mug of your ale, and two mugs of wine for my grandchildren. What is that delicious aroma that I smell coming from your kitchen?”

“That would be the mutton that our cook has been roasting all day. You couldn’t ask for better meal; our inn boasts the finest food in all the city.”

Apollos stroked his beard and nodded his head appreciatively. “I thought that was mutton. We will each take a serving of that, a loaf of bread and some cheese.” Apollos reached into his pocket and pulled out a gold coin and a silver coin, which he handed to the serving girl.

The serving girl smiled and winked at Apollos and then disappeared into the kitchen. Lucas smiled. It had been such a very long time since he had eaten mutton,and he was looking forward to enjoying this meal. “So when do we go to meet with your friend, Apollos?”

Apollos held up his hand as the serving girl returned and placed mugs and plates in front of each of them. She put a basket with a loaf of bread, a chunk of cheese, and a knife into the middle of the table. She gave Apollos another wink before she moved on to another table. Apollos chuckled. “Serving girls are just as frisky today as they were when I was a young man. We leave to meet with Malcolm once we finish eating our meal.” Apollos grabbed the loaf of bread and ripped a chunk off. He took a bite, closed his eyes, and sighed with delight. “It has been far too long since I’ve been amongst civilization.” He took another bite.

Lucas and Tara started eating as well, and an hour of dining, conversation, and laughter passed too quickly. Finally the food was gone, and Apollos and Lucas walked out of the inn. Lucas stopped at the front of the inn, but Apollos kept going. “Apollos, aren’t we going to wait for Tara?”

Apollos turned and shook his head at Lucas. “No, I said I would escort her to the city, I went to far as to pay for her lodging and meal. It is time we go our separate ways.”

Tara walked out of inn and smiled at Lucas and Apollos. “I almost thought you wouldn’t wait for me. Shall we go and meet with Malcolm?” She continued on past Apollos. Lucas followed after her and walked past Apollos, who was muttering under his breath about almost being rid of that fool of a girl.

Two shadows rose up into the forms of Acerbi that watched the group retreat down the street, and one of them formed its arm into a shadowy blade. The other Acerbus reached out and put its hand onto his partners shoulder. “We were commanded not to attack. Only to observe and report what goes on.”

The other Acerbus trembled with rage. “Our master wants those two dead. They are unarmed, and unaware of our presence. Why should we not strike now?”

“Because the master gave General Aldrick authority over us, so we obey. Let’s go, we don’t want to lose track of them.

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Apollos led the way through the city, passing stalls selling fruit, fresh bread, and vegetables from the country surrounding the city.  Apollos felt hope rise in his chest when Tara stopped in front of a merchant shouting about the latest fashions, but it fell once more when Tara broke away from the merchant and hurried to catch up with them again. Apollos eventually led them into a church. They walked through the chapel to a hall that led into a belltower. Apollos bent over to lift a hatch to reveal a hidden stairwell.

Apollos walked down the stairs a short distance and plucked an unlit torch from the wall, and went back up the stairs to light the torch from the one flickering in the belltower. “Get into the stairwell quickly, we don’t want to stay where prying eyes can see us any longer than we have to.” Lucas and Tara hurried down the stairs and Apollos took one last look around before walking into the stairwell and pulled the trapdoor shut after them.

The flickering torchlight illuminated the old stone walls as Apollos led the way. Lucas eyed the graves dug into the sides of the wall uneasily. “Are you sure it’s okay to be down here, Apollos?”

“This is where the man we need to talk to does his business without Geraldo knowing about it. Unless you know of a better way to locate the legendary beast blades?”

Lucas swallowed. “No, it just seems disrespectful to be walking through these catacombs like this.”

Tara smiled at Lucas. “The church is fine with us being down here, they were the ones that offered the catacomb`s for the rebellion to use. Don’t worry, Lucas. We don’t have much longer to go.”

Lucas nodded and continued on in silence, looking respectfully at graves as he walked past them. Apollos stopped at a wall between two graves and pushed on it. The wall swung open on hidden hinges. He ushered Lucas and Tara inside, glanced up and down the tunnel, and after he was satisfied that no one was watching, he followed them inside and pushed the wall closed behind him.

Apollos joined Lucas and Tara in a well-lit chamber, where another man was sitting. The chamber had swords hanging from the wall, and swords and daggers laid out on tables. The seated man stood up when he saw Apollos enter. He walked over to Apollos and grabbed his forearm, and Apollos did the same to his. “Apollos, it has been too long since you have last been here. Can I finally interest you in a decent beast blade? I have a fine fire gorilla, or perhaps you would be interested in an earth elephant?”

Apollos chuckled and patted Malcolm on the back. “It is good to see you as well, my friend. I’m not here to buy any beast blades, but rather in search of some information.” Tara cleared her throat. “Oh yes, this is Lucas and Tara. Lucas has found a legendary beast blade.”

Malcolm’s eyes opened up wide. “A legendary beast blade? Please, you must show me!” Malcolm ran over to Lucas. “Where is it?”

Apollos cleared his throat. “Considering who is in charge of the city now, I felt it best if we left it at the inn. I’d feel more confident in bringing it here for you to see if Lucas had another in his possession.”

Malcolm looked at Apollos uneasily. “Ah. That is why you came to see me today. I only have one use of it left, Apollos, and it is not as easy as it once was to regain it.”

Apollos sighed. “I would not have asked it of you at all if I didn’t think it was important, Malcolm. With all five of the legendary beast blades in hand, we could finally defeat Geraldo and his men, and then you could sell your beast blades openly again. You could travel to Bristalia without fear once more. Please, my friend, I will be in your debt.”

Malcolm looked at Lucas and shook his head. “Are you sure this boy can fight against Geraldo? He doesn’t look like much of a fighter.”

Lucas opened his mouth to defend himself, but Apollos raised up his hand to silence him. “Fate has chosen Lucas, and I do not believe it would choose someone who isn’t up for its task. He may not look like much now, but once I am done with him, Geraldo will have much to fear. So will you help us to locate the next blade?”

Malcolm shook his head. “I’ve looked for them in the past for you, Apollos, but I have never been able to find anything. Why should it be different now?”

Apollos smiled. “A legendary beast blade has been found, and their seeker is the one seeking them. Please, will you at least try?”

Malcolm sighed. “Alright, I will look, for you. But you have to buy something this time.” Malcolm walked over to a pillow that was placed on the floor, and sat on it. He took his shirt off and placed it on the ground next to him. It was obvious that Malcolm was a merchant and not a fighter, for there was not an ounce of muscle to be seen on his flabby body. He did, however, have several scars across his chest, and a tattoo on his right shoulder that looked like two circles connected with a curved line. Malcolm closed his eyes and reached up to his shoulder and touched the symbol, and it turned into a cloud of black dust and flowed up to his nose. Malcolm breathed it in and his eyes opened wide, and they glowed with a white light.

Apollos turned away from Malcolm and looked at Lucas. “He’s going to be like that for a while, so we may as well look over his wares while we have the time.”

Lucas stared at Malcolm, “What is he doing?”

Apollos looked at Malcolm, and then back at Lucas. “Is this your first time seeing someone use magic?” Lucas nodded his head. “He is using a spell to seek out the location of the next beast blade. You see, wizards like Malcolm must travel to a well located in Bristalia. There is a black, inky substance in the well that the wizards paint onto their body in symbols that each represent a different spell. As they use the spell, it disappears from their body, and they lose the ability to cast that spell until it is replaced.”

Tara looked at Malcolm. “So he is out of magic after this? He didn’t bring more of the ink with him?”

Apollos shook his head. “You can’t take any with you, any ink you try to bring with you past the tower which houses the well disappears. None of this affects you, Tara. I recommend that you figure out which beast blades you and your rebellion want and return to Falance as soon as you can.”

Tara glared at Apollos and then turned away to study the beast blades lined up along the wall. Lucas looked up at Apollos. “Are we going to get more beast blades too?”

Apollos sighed. “I’m perfectly happy with the beast blades I have, so if you find something that interests you, let me know.” Apollos turned and began to study the swords laying on the tables scattered around the chamber. Lucas turned his attention to a table that had daggers laying on it. There were daggers that would grant beast blades a long scorpion-like tail, some that would grant razor sharp claws like daggers, some that granted wings like Tara’s. Lucas’ eyes lingered on one that would give a beast blade an extra set of limbs, and he thought of Petrusa, reared up on its hind legs slashing out with four clawed hands.

Apollos walked up and looked at dagger that Lucas was eyeing. “So you’re thinking of getting a power blade, after all.”

Lucas looked at Apollos and smiled. “I’m just looking Apollos, but you have to admit, Petrusa would be dangerous with an extra set of claws.”

Apollos shook his head. “It seems so unnatural, but the daggers are cheaper than the swords.”

Malcolm’s eyes returned to normal and he began breathing deeply, as if he were out of breath after running a great distance. “I have found one of the legendary beast blades. It is located in the southern part of the Karndale Valley.”

Apollos gripped his chin with his hand. “So the next legendary beast blade lies in the east. Did you see anything else?”

Malcolm rose to his feet. “Only that there is danger there as well. Are you sure you want to take these two youngins into something like that?”

“Lucas will travel with me, but Tara is going to return to Falance in the west. She is only here gathering supplies for the rebellion there, and other than traveling with us after we met on the road, has nothing to do with us.”

Tara glared at Apollos. “It’s true, I am here to gather supplies for the rebellion, but I seem to have remembered some business I have in the east.” Apollos turned and looked at Tara and opened his mouth to respond, but Tara interrupted him. “You may as well face it, Apollos, I am going with you.”

Malcolm nodded his head. “Now that she says that, I seem to remember seeing one other with you, in my vision. I think she is supposed to go with you.”

Apollos grunted out of frustration. “Very well. When we leave in the morning, Tara will accompany us. Know this, Tara: our course is set, so I will hear no more about your rebellion. If you come with us, then you join our mission.” Apollos pointed at the dagger that Lucas was looking at. “We’ll take that dagger, Malcolm.”

Malcolm sighed. “So you didn’t see any beast blades that interest you. One of these days I will track down one that interests you more than that lightning tiger. Have you ever even managed to summon that one?”

“I have, once. It was an amazing sight to see, and it saved my life. Besides, it does me well to have one I reserve for good steel. Tell me how much I owe you for the dagger, Malcolm, and we’ll be on our way.”

Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, you can find the previous parts, as well as other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination check out my facebook page for updates on the stories here: EJBorchardt, and follow me on Twitter for random facts about my stories here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read.

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