Beast Blades, Chapter 6: Exploring the Karndale Valley Part 1

Apollos reached out and knocked on the door of a handmade wooden cabin. Tara looked around nervously. “Are you sure he’s still even alive? If he’s one of your old friends he could have died by now.”

Apollos turned and glared at Tara. He opened his mouth to berate her, but was interrupted by the cabin door swinging open. An old bald man wearing a brown robe that ended only three inches from the floor stuck his head out the door and grunted. “Apollos, I didn’t think I’d see you again. And I see you have brought some very rude guests with you. Who are they, your grandchildren?”

Apollos smiled and shook his head. “Jerome, it is good to see you again my friend! These are not my grandchildren, but rather fellow travelers. This is Lucas, and this is Tara.”

Jerome grunted again. “Come inside and you can tell me what you want. No one comes to visit me unless they want something from me.”

Jerome stepped back from the door and Apollos, Lucas, and Tara stepped inside. Lucas stared in amazement at the walls of Jerome’s home. At least fifty beast blades reflected the light of the fireplace. “Wow, that’s a lot of beast blades, did you buy them all?”

Jerome smiled. “No, I captured each and every single one of these myself and there is a story behind each and every one of them.” He pointed at a beast blade that hung over his fireplace. “That one is a fire dragon, and it didn’t want to go down. Apollos and I  came at the thing in the middle of the night, but Apollos ended up knocking over some stones and letting the thing know we were there, and boy was it upset!”

Apollos smiled. Maybe time has softened his heart once more. It is good to see him smile again. “I believe you were the one that knocked over the stones, Jerome, and right after I warned you not to trip over them!”

Jerome chuckled, “You may be right, but I was the one that charged the beast and plunged my blade into its chest.” Jerome’s smile turned into a frown. “Why are you so interested in my beast blades, boy? Thinking to make a name for yourself by stealing them?”

Lucas’ face turned to panic. “What? No! Why would I want to steal your beast blades?”

Apollos sighed and ran to Lucas’ defense. Perhaps it was too much to hope that he was beginning to heal. “That’s right, Jerome! I would never bring anyone here that wanted to steal from you! You’re my friend!”

Jerome turned and frowned at Apollos. “Why did you bring them here, Apollos? Why did you come here now after all these years?”

“I’m sorry that it has been so long since my last visit, but I was respecting your wishes and trying not to bother you. But I would be lying if I told you that seeing you again was my only motivation for my visit.”

“What ever it is, Apollos, you won’t get it from me. You know I keep myself out of the affairs of others now.”

“Relax my friend, I come here seeking only advice. Have you heard any news about Geraldo’s ascent into power?”

Jerome grunted. “A few months ago there were some fools pounding on my door demanding that I submit myself and my beast blades to Geraldo. The river has long washed their bodies away.” Jerome’s eyes narrowed. “Don’t tell me he sent you to try and win me over now.”

Apollos shook his head. “Quite the opposite, I am trying to dethrone Geraldo, but I need some help.”

Jerome laughed. “I have a hard time believing that. I seem to remember that you could take care of yourself in a fight.”

Apollos sighed. “He is wielding the shadow blade.”

Jerome’s eyes opened wide. “If he’s wielding the shadow blade what makes you think that I can do anything? I own many powerful beast blades, but none of them are legendary beast blades, and those are the only ones that have any hope of defeating the shadow blade.”

Lucas stepped forward. “We have one of the legendary beast blades already.” Lucas pulled his sword from the sheath belted at his side. “This is Pyrequine, and we’re looking for the others.”

Jerome reached out hesitantly to touch Pyrequine. “A legendary beast blade, in my home. This is very impressive but I’ve already told you that I don’t have any legendary beast blades here, so I’m afraid that your journey was a waste of time, Apollos.”

“We just came from Sharen City, and Malcolm said that we could find a legendary beast blade in the valley here. I was hoping that perhaps you had seen it.”

Jerome shook his head. “If I’d come across any beast blade in my valley I would have added it to my collection. No, I certainly haven’t come across anything like that. There are many places that could hide such a thing here though. You have my permission to search my valley if you wish.”

Apollos bowed his head. “Thank you, my friend. If you wished to join us in our search, you are most certainly welcome to.”

Jerome grunted. “I don’t leave my home for any reason or anyone, and you know that, Apollos. You should go, Apollos.”

Tara frowned. “The entire country is is being taken over, and all you want to do is sit in your cabin and sulk? According to Apollos you were once the most feared man in this country! You need to do something to help take Geraldo down! Travel with us, or go to Falance! You could make all the difference to the rebellion there!”

Apollos’ face turned red and he bellowed out, “Tara! What did I tell you about bringing that up? You are traveling with us now, so forget about the rebellion.”

Tara glared back at Apollos. “Forgive me if I’m not ready to trust Lucas with the fate of this country!”

Jerome’s face turned dark. “I should have known that you just wanted to get me involved in your problems. I want you to get out of my home, you and those children, Apollos. Now, and don’t return. If you do, the river will wash your remains away as well, old friend or not.”

Apollos turned to Jerome. “Jerome, forgive me my friend, don’t take anything she says too seriously! All she talks about is the rebellion!”

“I don’t care, Apollos. Now you can either let yourself out, or I can toss you into the river now.”

Apollos looked sadly at Jerome. “Alright, we will leave, my friend. Take care of yourself, and I hope that you reconsider and I get to see you once more.” Apollos turned and ushered Lucas and Tara out the door.

Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, come back on Wednesday when I will publish part two, and check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page to connect with me and give me some feedback: Facebook, and follow me on Twitter here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read.Also, if you enjoy reading my stories, and you enjoy drawing, I’m looking for pictures of my characters. If you want to send me your fan art, I promise to include it with some of my posts! I look forward to seeing that art!

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