Trixie adjusted her helmet as they walked down the hallway behind the Aureus’Aevum that was leading them to where the king was giving his speech. She looked at Milton who was walking beside her. “Do you think that there will be many volunteers?”
Milton shrugged, “The Aureus’Aevum we have met so far all seem to respect and follow everything their king asks of them, but he is asking them for something that goes against who they are. I’m not sure what to expect.”
The servant led them out the door at the end of the hall onto a balcony overlooking the courtyard down below. Trixie held up her hand to shade her eyes from the harsh light from the four lights hanging in the sky. She squinted and turned to the servant in surprise. “Your world has four suns?”
The servant smiled and shook his head. “No, we have six, but four is the most that you will see in the sky at once. Wait here and his majesty will see to you once he is done giving his speech.” The servant bowed his head and walked back into the hallway.
Milton shook his head. “Six suns? I don’t know that I could ever get used to something like that. If it’s always bright out, when do people sleep?”
Trixie shrugged. “Maybe they don’t sleep. The Aureus’Aevum are pretty different from us.” She motioned for Milton to follow her, “Come on, let’s go listen to the end of the King’s speech.” Trixie and Milton made their way closer to where King Dar’duo was addressing his people.
Dar’duo gripped the stone guardrail tightly. “…This is our problem, and we cannot just rely on others to solve it for us! We have to do our part to ensure our freedom and safety! Who will join with our human allies and fight to keep our families safe?”
Rousing cheers came up from the Aureus’Aevum gathered down below, and tears formed in the king’s eyes. “Thank you all for your support. Those that are interested in aiding in our plan, please make your way to Laz’krit’s armory. You will be directed on where to go after that.” King Dar’duo turned to face Milton and Trixie. “I see you have already visited Laz’krit. I trust that he has provided you with some of his finest work?”
Trixie nodded her head. “He certainly has. He had the perfect artifacts to compliment the ones we already have.” Trixie pulled her helmet off and smiled at it. She placed it back on her head and turned her attention back on Dar’duo. “We only caught the end of it, but that seemed to be a very powerful speech your majesty. Your people certainly seemed to be excited by it.”
Dar’duo smiled and nodded his head. “Yes, fortunately your plan was well received. It seems that you will have many volunteers to help you in the upcoming fight.”
Milton nodded his head appreciatively. “Good, the more that join with us, the less likely we are to be focused upon. We need to move against Lang’kahn soon, though. The longer we give him before we attack, the more likely it will be that he will be able to use the sword when we face him.”
The king sighed. “I wish it was not so. I would trade anything to give my people more time to prepare for this, or, better yet, to avoid this all together. I wish that we could come to a peaceful resolution to this.”
Trixie looked sympathetically at the king. “I’m sure that you have done everything that you can to solve this peacefully. Unfortunately some people just can’t be reasoned with, and no matter what, someone is going to get hurt. The only thing you can do then is try and make it so that as few people get hurt as possible.”
Milton nodded his head. “In order for us to ensure the safety of your people, we have to move as soon as they are ready to go. Where are we supposed to meet them?”
“They will gather at the front gate of the castle once they have been given some equipment by Laz’krit. I will have two ani’vohs sent to there to take you all to the Nathair province. That’s where Lang’kahn’s palace is located. Come, I will take you there now and we can wait for the others to arrive.” The King led Trixie and Milton through the palace to the front gates.
Along the way Milton asked, “What are ani’vohs?”
“They are some of the fastest vehicles our scientists have developed, except for those we use to visit other worlds. I think you will be quite impressed by them.” A servant pushed open the front door of the castle and bowed to the king. Milton and Trixie gazed in wonder at the sights that awaited them.
Plants that looked similar to grass grew on either side of the path that led up to the palace, but they were a mosaic of colors that looked like they were allowed to grow randomly, but if seen from above, it became clear that they were arranged by a master artist to form a beautiful lakeside scene. Shrubs and small trees grew amongst the grass at perfect spots to add to the scenery, and some of the grass was even arranged to appear to be reflections of the trees on the water.
They were nothing compared to the gates however, which were made of some sparkling metal that danced and shown in the light of the suns. The gates, which were always open, were made up or a series of connected metal plates, each formed into a different creature, the upper part of the gate was comprised of different winged creatures; most looked like birds, but some of them were clearly not birds. Below them were all sorts of creatures that would run along the ground, some with two legs, others with four, and even a few with more. One side of the gate looked like it was made to resemble the ground with all sorts of burrowing creatures scattered throughout, and the other side looked like it had flowing waves on it, and featured all sorts of aquatic creatures.
Milton and Trixie stared in wonder at their surroundings until two clouds dropped from the sky on to the path. The sides opened to reveal that they weren’t actually clouds, but rather vehicles that had been fashioned to look like clouds. Two Aureus’Aevum stepped out of the vehicles and knelt before Dar’duo. “Your majesty, we have prepared the vehicles you requested. We can leave whenever you give the order.”
Dar’duo nodded his head. “Very good, I will entrust these two into your care then. If you will excuse me, I have some other things to attend to.” King Dar’duo walked back into the palace past the first group of Aureus’Aevum carrying artifacts with them. Each Aureus’Aevum introduced themselves to Trixie and Milton before they climbed into one of the ani’vohs. Once the last ani’voh was filled, Trixie and Milton climbed aboard and sat down next to the pilot.
The cloud-shaped machine hummed to life and lifted off of the ground until they were above the tops of the tallest buildings, and then they darted across the sky. Milton turned to the pilot. “How far is it to the Nathair province?”
The pilot smiled at Milton. “The Nathair province is located on the Eastern coast of the continent, and it would take a week to get there by foot.” Milton’s mouth dropped open, but before he could ask any questions the pilot chuckled and continued. “Not to worry, in an ani’voh, we should reach it in about twenty minutes.”
The sides and bottom of the ani’voh were all clear from the inside, and Milton looked down to see cities and forests appear and vanish as they sped on. “This is unlike anything that we have where I come from.”
The pilot laughed. “If you are impressed by this then you should see the crafts we use when we want to travel through space. Those make this look like it’s standing still.” After a few minutes of travel, the ani’voh began to slow down. “I’m going to have to let you out here. If I get any closer to Lang’kahn’s palace, one of his minions will shoot me down. We’ve already lost six ani’vohs to them.”
Milton frowned. “You can’t get us any closer than this? It looks like the palace is all the way on the other side of the city.”
Sweat appeared on the pilots forehead. “I’ve already taken you further than any ani’voh has gotten in the past few weeks. I’m afraid that you will have to continue on foot from here.” The ani’voh lowered to the ground and the sides opened once more. The ani’vohs took off once Trixie, Milton, and their volunteers had all gotten out.
Milton turned to look over their volunteers, most of whom were standing nervously in anticipation. Sil’abo made his way up to Trixie and Milton’s side and smiled. “What is the plan from here? I’m sure that everyone would feel more confident if we knew what was coming next.”
Milton nodded his head. “Thanks for the advice, Sil’abo.” Milton cleared his throat. “We are about to enter into Lang’kahn’s territory, so we are likely to run into some of his loyal followers. We are also likely to run into some of the humans that were brought here. I know that they will probably attack us, but you need to just ignore them. They can’t hurt you, and they are only there to distract us. No matter what happens, none of you can use magic, do you understand me? The last thing we need is for any of you to turn to Lang’kahn’s side unexpectedly.”
Trixie frowned. “I don’t think we should just ignore the humans that are in the city. I’m sure that none of them want to be here doing what they are. I think we should talk with them and give them a chance to go back through one of the portals, or join with us if they want to.”
“That’s just going to take up more time that we don’t have to waste.” Milton sighed. “Fine, we can talk with them if we come across them, but we aren’t going to to out of our way to seek them out.” He turned back to the crowd, “Now follow me!” Milton jumped off the ground and flew toward the city. Trixie and the rest of the Aureus’Aevum ran after him.
Laz’krit was sorting through the remaining artifacts on his shelves, and he smiled to himself. Even if these artifacts never saw any other use than what they were receiving today he was glad that he had made them. Crafting normal everyday objects was fine, but every once in a while, he wanted a challenge. He turned to see to another shelf and jumped when he found King Dar’duo standing behind him. “Sire, what brings you to the vaults?”
Dar’duo looked over his shoulders as if to make sure that no one else was watching him, and said discretely, “You didn’t give away any of the objects in the royal vault, did you?”
Laz’krit looked offended. “Of course not. You forbade that any of those artifacts ever be used except for with your permission. Besides, you are the only one with the key to get inside of it.”
The king pulled a key that hung around his neck off and handed it to Laz’krit. “I want you to open the vault and fetch the royal scepter for me.”
Laz’krit gasped. “But you called that artifact an abomination! What could you want to use it for?”
Dar’duo’s face turned stern. “I was not aware that I needed to explain myself to my subjects when I gave an order. Are you still faithful to your king or not?”
Laz’krit sighed. “It will be as you say, sire.” Laz’krit took the key from Dar’duo and grabbed the side of one of his shelves, and pulled. The wall swung away with the shelf and revealed a door made from a golden metal with intricate symbols carved into it. Laz’krit put the key into the keyhole that was slightly off center of the door. Once he turned the key, he pulled it out partially and rotated again. Once the he had rotated three fourths of the way around, Laz’krit stopped and pushed the key deeper into the door. A panel on the wall next to the door opened up and revealed a lever. Laz’krit pulled on the lever and another shelf slid open to reveal a small chamber with pedestals arranged inside of it.
The king stepped into the chamber and picked a golden scepter up from one of the pedestals. A pained look crossed his face and he sighed. “I have to do my part to end this struggle as well.” Dar’duo stalked out of the chamber past Laz’krit. “Hang onto that key until I return, and tell no one of what I just did.”
Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, come back on Friday when I will publish part three, 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.