Beautiful portraits and statues lined the stairway, but they didn’t draw Milton or Trixie’s attention as they charged up the stairs. Milton frowned at Trixie’s heavy breathing. She didn’t have the luxury of flying like he did, and if she got worn out here her shield would be almost useless. He wondered how much he could lift while flying. Perhaps she could ride on his back and he could carry both of them up. “How much further is it to Lang’kahn’s throne?”
Sil’abo replied, “Not much further, only another couple of flights of stairs.”
Milton shook his head and turned to Trixie. “Do you think you can make it that far, or do you want me to try and give you a lift?”
Trixe smiled and pushed on. “I’ll be fine, don’t worry about me.”
Milton turned his attention back to Sil’abo, “I expected to see more of Lang’kahn’s Aureus’Aevum guarding the palace, but we haven’t seen anyone since we got inside. Do you think they’re all waiting for us in his throne room?”
Sil’abo shook his head. “Lang’kahn is sure to have some of his followers around him, but I think a majority of his forces were focused outside. It would appear that Ahir did a good job of thinning his forces.”
Milton snorted. “Don’t remind me.”
Tor’jahd hurried down the stairs to the Aureus’Aevum he had left down below. He saw the six he had left to open portals still concentrating and the others were just lounging around the room. Tor’jahd growled, “Haven’t you gotten those portals open yet? There is fighting going on outside the tower!”
One of the Aureus’Aevum working on opening a portal cracked an eye open and glared at Tor’jahd. “Opening a portal takes time, and even master Lang’kahn couldn’t open one any faster.”
Tor’jahd shook his head. “We need reinforcements now! If we send more humans at them we might be able to turn more Aureus’Aevum and cause the others to lose heart!”
The Aureus’Aevum sighed. “You’re welcome to try and open a portal faster if you like, Tor’jahd.”
Tor’jahd snarled, “You know I avoid using magic! Master Lang’kahn wants to keep me as I am so that I will provide him with objective council, not just praise and adoration like you sycophants give him. According to you lot his every idea is pure brilliance and can’t possibly fail.”
Sil’abo’s voice echoed up the stairway, “We’ve finally made it to the top, I hope that you all are ready.”
Tor’jahd’s head looked toward the stairway and panic filled his face when he heard Milton reply, “Good, hopefully Lang’kahn hasn’t broken the seal on the sword yet.” A flying golden lion came up the stairs clutching the Powaga Joursi in his hands.
Tor’jahd shrieked, “Milton? I thought I left you injured!” He turned and ran back toward the staircase.
Milton growled, “Tor’jahd? I was hoping that I would find you here! You’re going to pay for what you did to my eye!” Milton flew past the other Aureus’Aevum in the room.
Trixie held her hand out and cried, “Milton, we need to stick together! There’ll be time to deal with Tor’jahd later!”
Trixie’s cries fell upon deaf ears as Milton sped up to the top of the tower after Tor’jahd. Milton’s voice echoed up the stairwell after Tor’jahd. “What’s the matter, Tor’jahd? Don’t you want to perch on my shoulder now? It’ll be just like old times!” Tor’jahd’s shriek echoed back down at Milton and Tor’jahd ran as fast as he could up the stairs.
Tor’jahd reached the top of the tower and looked down at the fighting going on beneath him. He turned to face Milton as he stalked ever closer, and he put a smile onto his face. “Milton, you have to forgive me, this has all been to gain Lang’kahn’s trust! Together we can defeat him once and for all!”
Milton frowned and shook his head. “Save it. I’m not going to believe anything you say any more.”
Tor’jahd’s eyes frantically searched for a way out of this. Why wasn’t Milton believing him? Maybe if he offered to replace his eye? A cunning smile replaced the panic on his face. “You are exactly what master Lang’kahn needs to ensure his rule here. Come with me, and I’m sure that we will find you a place of power once King Dar’duo is dead. We’ll even let you finish off Ahir if you want. He’s no longer of any use to us.”
Milton snarled, “I’m not going to let you use me, or anyone else ever again!” He pulled back his bowstring and fired an arrow into Tor’jahd, and then leapt over the edge of the tower and fired the second shot down into the middle of the fight raging beneath them. Tor’jahd was pulled screaming over the edge of the tower and crashed into the ground, cracking the paving and drawing the attention of the fighters down below.
A satisfied smile filled Milton’s face for a few moments until it was replaced with panic. He had left Trixie and the others alone in a room filled with Aureus’Aevum! He had to get back down there and help them out! He turned and rushed for the stairs.
Trixie raised up her shield and deflected a fireball back at the Aureus’Aevum that had hurtled it at them, and it knocked him back over. The human’s cowered behind Trixie, and one of them whispered, “I regret not leaving with the others! There’s no way we’ll make it out of this alive!”
Trixie gave what she hoped was a reassuring smile, “Don’t worry, I won’t anything happen to you. We’ll get you out of this safely.” She just wasn’t sure how yet, but she wasn’t going to let them know that. Six of the Aureus’Aevum they had stumbled across looked like they were still concentrating on something, most likely a spell of some sort. She wasn’t looking forward to finding out what the spell would do, but she was glad that they were distracted for the moment.
Sil’abo and the other Aureus’Aevum were struggling to keep the attention of Lang’kahn’s followers, but they were outnumbered. The three of them, even with their artifacts weren’t a match for the eight Aureus’Aevum that didn’t hesitate to use magic on them. Several of the Aureus’Aevum were lying on the ground, bound in invisible shackles because of one of the artifacts, but the effect didn’t last long enough. After a minute or two of struggling they would break free of their bonds and go right back into their attack.
Sil’abo was causing chaos in their ranks with his rod that caused whoever he touched with it to become confused. Thanks to that the magic attacks used by their enemies hit allies as often as not, but the third Aureus’Aevum’s frying pan that would turn blazing hot at will wasn’t proving to be very useful. Trixie wasn’t sure how such an artifact hadn’t found its ways to Dar’dou’s kitchens, but then again she wasn’t sure how any of these artifacts went unused.
A portal sprang to life in front of one of the Aureus’Aevum, and Trixie got an idea. She turned to the two humans standing behind her and said, “Go through that portal quickly! It should take you back to our world and change you back to normal!”
The humans looked hesitantly at the portal and all the chaos going on in the room and said, “How are we supposed to make it to that? Surely one of the Aureus’Aevum will attack us before we can make it there.”
Trixie sighed. “I’ll keep you safe, now come on! You need to get back and warn the police that there might be an invasion. Go to detective Miguel and tell him Trixie sent you, he’ll believe you.”
The other human replied, “We will make sure to give him your message. Thank you for everything you have done for us, Trixie.”
The three of them hurried toward the portal, and Trixie deflected multiple magical blows away from the humans. The humans dove into the portal, and once she was sure they were away from danger, Trixie thrust her shield into the portal and it closed. The Aureus’Aevum next to the portal glared at Trixie. “Do you know how long that took for me to open?”
The Aureus’Aevum pulled its hand back to slap at Trixie, but a light arrow crashed into its back, and it was pulled across the room and slammed into the wall with a grunt. Trixie smiled and turned to see Milton floating above the stairs. “Milton, you came back!”
Milton nodded his head and fired another arrow into one of the Aureus’Aevum working on getting another portal open. “Sorry I left, but we don’t have to worry about Tor’jahd anymore. You go on ahead and try to find Ahir. Sil’abo and I will join with you once we’ve dealt with these Aureus’Aevum.” Milton fired his second arrow out of one of the windows, and a second later the Aureus’Aevum went flying out of the tower screaming curses at Milton.
Trixie ran across the room and pushed open the door and rushed into Lang’kahn’s throne room, revealing Lang’kahn sitting upon his throne with the Gladio Protegat levitating above his hands and three of his followers sitting around him. Lang’kahn’s eyes opened and he snarled, “What do you want? I thought I told Tor’jahd I didn’t want to be disturbed!”
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, and don’t forget to check out my new book, The Kids on the Case! You can find it here: The Kids on the Case: Our First Case