Beast Blades, Chapter 8: Sparing General Aldrick Part 3

Apollos joined Tara and Aldrick outside, the new bag of supplies slung over his shoulder. Tara looked at Apollos expectantly. “Do we go back to looking for Lucas now?”

Apollos hung his head, tears forming in the corners of his eyes. “I’m afraid that Lucas is gone, Tara. I think the best thing for us to do for the moment would be to go and join up with your rebellion. Perhaps we will be able to slow down Geraldo’s conquest enough for the next wielder of the legendary beast blades to rise up.”

Tara jumped up and down excitedly. “That’s great news! With a fighter like you and a strategist like Aldrick, I’m certain that the rebellion will have no problems kicking Geraldo’s forces out of the Falance province! After that, we’ll drive them out of the whole country!”

Aldrick snorted and shook his head. “It’s not going to be as easy as that, miss. I’m afraid that the other generals at Geraldo’s disposal will be more of a threat than you can imagine.”

Apollos glared at Aldrick. “That can wait until later, let the girl feel some hope for the moment.”

Aldrick smiled. “I’m not saying that the situation is hopeless, as a matter of fact I’m certain that with my strategies we’ll be able to defeat the other generals. I’ve always wanted to do this, to see which of us was the greatest, and I’m finally being given an opportunity to find out.”

Tara smiled weakly and glanced at Aldrick. “Even Aldrick thinks that we can win.” She turned to look at Apollos and smiled with more confidence. “We should head for Falance right away!”

Apollos shook his head. “There are a few things that we have to do first, such as seeing what kind of state our wagon is in. I’d also like to stop in Sharen City to see what has happened to the city since we passed through.”

Aldrick shook his head and sighed. “You may regret that, Apollos. I left Sharen City under heavy guard. Getting back in might be impossible for you.”

Apollos started walking into the valley. “It’s a good thing that I have you with me then, Aldrick. You can be my eyes inside of the city, but we aren’t going anywhere until we check on that wagon, so come on you two.”

Tara and Aldrick started following after Apollos, and Tara kept a cautious eye on Aldrick, but she tried to make it look like she wasn’t watching him. Aldrick smiled, “You don’t have be so worried about me, I won’t bite you.”

Tara allowed herself a weak smile. “I don’t fully trust you yet. Yesterday you were trying to kill us after all.”

Aldrick sighed. “I know that trust is something that has to be earned, and I have much to atone for, but I will do everything I can to stop Geraldo.”

Tara walked on in silence for a while, until she finally said, “You said before that the other generals will be a serious threat to the rebellion, and you know them better than either of us do, so who do you think Geraldo will send against the rebellion?”

Aldrick closed his eyes for a moment, concentrating, and then he opened them again. “Geraldo only has two of his generals left, Elymas and Ezra. Ezra specializes in using power blades, and is a very dangerous fighter in his own right, but Elymas is Geraldo’s magic specialist. Of the two, I think that Elymas is most likely to be Geraldo’s pick. If I’m right, that would mean that the rebellion is in lots trouble.”

Tara looked at Aldrick with curiosity. “I’ve seen magic used a few times before, and it didn’t seem so dangerous.”

Apollos turned and looked at Tara. “That’s because you have never seen a true magic user at work. Someone with the proper spells could devastate an entire city.”

Aldrick nodded his agreement. “That’s correct, and Elymas and his squad of casters have those types of spells at their disposal. Imagine an entire flank of your rebellion wiped out from a single fireball. But those spells aren’t the only thing to worry about. With scrying spells he can learn exactly how our troops are arranged and the best way to strike. That’s why it will take all of my cunning to make everything different from the way that it appears. With enough deception, I will be able to overcome him. You can expect many people in the rebellion to lose their lives though.”

Fear filled Tara’s eyes, and tears ran down her face. “No, my friends!”

Apollos glanced over his shoulder. “Is it true that Elymas has discovered a way to bring more of the magic ink with him that just what is written on his body?”

“Yes, he has. He has discovered that as long as the ink is on human skin, it will work. He has started skinning humans and making them into magic scrolls.”

Apollos swallowed. “How did he ever discover something as horrible as that?”

Aldrick shrugged. “Not really sure, There are a lot of different rumors floating around though. The two most likely tales say that after he defeated an opponent in a magic battle he tried to use spells off of his dead body and discovered it that way, other stories say he just enjoys skinning people alive and tried writing on their flesh on a whim. Either one is possible, Elymas is cruel enough to have done either of them.”

They finally reached the wagon and Apollos began to look it over for damage. He nodded his head. “It’s not as bad as I expected, the bed is a little splintered, and one of the wheels are loose, but it should last us as far as Sharen City at least. We can have it repaired once we reach there.”

Aldrick gave the wagon an appraising look. “Are you sure it’s worth saving? We’d probably make better time if we just went on foot.”

Apollos looked up and smiled at Aldrick. “That would be fine, as long as you are willing to carry all of our supplies.”

Aldrick snorted. “Very well, the wagon it is. I’m trusting that you are going to have it pulled by that elephant of yours again.”

“Are you saying that you don’t want to pull it, Aldrick? I was hoping that you would want to, since you wanted to walk anyway.”

Aldrick glared back at Apollos. “Very funny, Apollos. Don’t you think it would look a little strange to have one of Geraldo’s generals pulling a wagon into Sharen City by hand?”

Apollos nodded. “It certainly would look strange. Help me to get this wagon off of its side and we can start our journey to Falance.”

Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more like it, come back on Monday when I will publish part one of chapter 15 of Ahir, Guardian of Malor, come back tomorrow when I will have all of chapter 8 for you, and Sunday for an update video on what happened previously in Ahir, Guardian of Malor, and a glimpse of what is going to happen in chapter 15. Check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page 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.


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