Chronologous

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Conrad Steele, a professor of history, after having discovered an old medieval tome in his basement, embarked upon a journey that will changed his life forever.

Submitted: July 19, 2016

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Submitted: July 19, 2016

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A pale ray of morning sunlight shone through a gap in the silky, cobalt-blue curtains.  What a burning way to start a day, thought Conrad, as the ray was directed right at his sleepy eyelids.  A glance at the grandfather clock told him it’s well past 7.00. 

“I’m bloody late!” he cursed in alarm, and sprang up from the bed in a flash.  Conrad was a lean, young man, of about 175 cm. in height.  He has long, gleaming hair swept back over his brows, their color as black as night.  His eyes were molten gold, filled with a sense of casual, natural even, arrogance.  After a quick leap to in the shower, he strode to a large mahogany wardrobe to pick up his working suits.  All of them were the same shade of black, but he chose the suit to the left most, with a grey tie adorned with intricate vine-like patterns to go with it.  Conrad was in such a hurry that he stumbled twice, and nearly received an intimate kiss from the smooth marble floor on the second time. 

Whew, that was close, he sighed in relieve, and continue preparing for the morning trip.  Finally, he set off to his black, oaken dressing table to pick up the last objects before going to work.  A BMW car key and an Oxford University’s professor identification tag. Upon the tag was his full name, Conrad Steele. Besides the items was an old, dust covered tome. 

And the mystery of this book still puzzles me, pondered Conrad, lost in his thought.  He found the ancient book under his basement a couple of days ago.  It was written in some kind of Medieval English, so he had no idea what any of the texts meant.  That had spurred him to carry the tome alongside him to a colleague at Oxford, who may be able to translate its meaning.  Conrad pick up the various items and ran out the door to work.  What he didn’t know was that the day is not going to be a usual work routine, but something else entirely.

 

Thud. Conrad laid the ancient tome upon the surface of his metallic-grey working table.  Phew, just in time I guess the extreme speed ride was worth it.  Conrad sigh and loosen his necktie.  He had race his car all the way to the university, cutting lanes, passing red lights, and gears the BMW into the most exhilarating maneuvers possible.  An experience that I would never missed.  He sat down on his comfy ebon leather chair, and absorbs the room’s unique aroma.  His office was medium-sized, packed with several bookcases along the side of the room.  Between them were numerous shelves and cabinets, filled with ancient relics and artifacts.  At the room’s entrance, opposite to the door, was a full suit of German gothic plate armor.  The collection had a strange smell to them, as if sensing the decades and centuries they have endured.  As he was lost in thought, Conrad’s cellphone vibrated with a loud, Whirmph 

“Hello…”

“Conrad, are you at the university yet?  I mean, with the book.”

“Oh yes, Nick!”  He had totally forgotten that he had promised to hand Nick the medieval book for inspection, first thing in the morning.

“On my way, mate.”  Conrad replied as he grabbed the tome and started his walk toward the door.  Then something strange happened.  The runes on the back of the book came alive with a brilliant auriferous glow.  The book’s title, previously dim and unreadable, shone and letter out its name, Chronolosgue.  An endless, pitch-black void suddenly opened itself beneath Conrad’s steps, covering the entire area of the office’s carpeted floor. The black hole swirled violently like a giant whirlpool beneath Conrad’s feet. The only thought that came to his mind was, This thing looks like a wormhole from one of those sci-fi movies.Then a monstrous force flushed him into the void before he could comprehend the situation.

“Ah!” He screamed for dear life, as Conrad fell down into the bottomless darkness

 

Conrad was still dazed when her fist come crashing into his face.  Crunch!  And things were still cloudy when he was on the ground, his fingers swiping at the nose and found that it was matted with blood.  Red, mused Conrad, so I am still alive?  Only when the various kinds of fruits and others projectiles were flown towards him that the recollect his senses.  As he ran around, dodging the miscellaneous objects being thrown at him, Conrad looked up at the cottage’s roof.  There was a large hole in the yellowish-straw and mud patchwork.Which I came down from, he thought.  The young woman currently attacking him had a fair face, with hazel-brown curls and light brown eyes as soft as a doe’s.  Although right now, her gaze at him wasn’t exactly gentle.

“Wait, mam, let me explain. “ Conrad started off with his most beguiling tone.  At least that’s what he told himself.

“Eek!” was the lady’s only reply, as she flung a rusted iron kettle at him.  How am I wrong, when the only thing she did was screaming at me?  he pondered and crouched down to dodge the projectile.  Before they could continue their alternation, a huge knight, clad in a full suit of plate, burst through the wooden door.

“Brother!” the young lady cried out in relieves.  Conrad was in quite a different situation.  Oh crap, he thought in distress.

“That peculiar way of dressing, a bloody French spy?” the knight bellowed at furiously him. Double crap.

“Wait!  The only French word I could say was Bonjour!” he replied in alarm.  Without listening, the knight rushed at Conrad, his steel great sword drawn out.  Conrad barely sidestepped the opening upward slash, the blade missing him by only an inch.  Fortunately, an agedly man, enshrouded in a grey, hooded robe, appeared in the door way, “Stop what you are doing, Haste!” he chided with a voice as loud as thunder.

“Elder, why? I was going to hack this invader into pieces.”

“That man was no invader, but an old acquaintance of mine.”  His answer shocked Conrad as much as the regal knight.

“Besides, Lady Amelia had been taken hostage by Red Scar’s outlaw band.  The lord of Manchester requests your aid.”

“Amelia.  Damn it!”  Haste cursed before sprinting out the door way, followed by his sister.  After the two had left, Conrad asked the elderly man, “Why are you helping me?”

“That is a mystery you would need to solve for yourself.  But know this, your journey hare wasn’t a coincidence.  You were destined to be here by fate, and only the quest to save Amelia would unlock a gateway back to where you came from.”

“And why should I put faith in you words?”

“You do not have to, just remember this: The magic lurks inside you.”

At seeing a troop of knights mounted on their mud-brown stallions, Conrad inquired.  “So, please remind me, where am I, anyway?”

“This is England, in the year of our lord 1353, and we are in the village of Derby.”  The elder replied with a curious smile.

Clip-clop, The hooves of Conrad’s horse trot upon the brown dirt road.  As their party passed through a low canopy that lead into the forest’s interior, Elaine fall in beside him.  She was Haste’s sister, the lady he first met on his arrival to this era.  After two days of traveling in the woods, he got to know her much better.  She was quick and agile, a superb cook, yet deadly with a crossbow.  After the time they had spent together he had learnt to admire her strength of mind and personality.  And she is quite a beauty too, mused Conrad 

“Are you gazing up at the sky again?”  Elaine brushed away the hazel-brown curl that fell down in front of her face.  “What a peculiar individual you are, in the way of speaking, dressing, and gazing up longingly at the clear blue sky.”

“Well, at least you now know that I’m not a French, most of all a spy?” he replied with a playful smile.  His only reply was here laughter, which was as clear as the ringing of bells on windy days.  As they were continuing with their talk and jests, Haste suddenly reined up his mud-brown rouncy and stopped the party’s advance.

“What is it?” Conrad inquired the regal-looking knight.  Haste was clad in a shiny steel plate that shone brightly against the sun light.  His brown rough-spun cloak hung limply upon the rouncy’s flank, and droplets of sweat glistened against his dark brown hair.

“Here, the tracks made by Red Scar’s band.”  He dismounted and examined a trail of horse hoof prints left upon the muddy road.  As Conrad and Elaine dismounted alongside him, Haste whispered in a confident tone, “They are still fresh, a few hours at most.  We are near.”

After a few hours of riding, a ragged encampment surrounded by a simple wall of timber, came into view.  The sounds of drinking and partying filled the still forest air, and campfires blazed against the dark of night.  A band of outlaws were dancing festively around, while swinging mugs of ale or dueling with each other.  In the center, of the band, besides the most viciously burning campfire, stood Red Scar.  A terrible crimson scar stretched across his face, from his right eye to will below the chin.  Dry blood clung grotesquely upon the grievous wound.  The outlaw was clad in rusted mail, with a layer of sweat-stained boiled leather beneath.  Strapped to his waist was a black falchion, its edge still crusted with the dry, black blood of people he had killed.  Conrad and his party were hidden behind a layer of shrubbery that hid them from the bandit’s view.

“Is that him?” Conrad asked with difficulty, as he gazed intently at the bandit chief.

“That infamous scar, and the grim falchion strapped to his side.  He is definitely the nefarious Red Scar, leader of the most vicious outlaw group in all of England.”  replied Haste.  The knight’s tone was dangerously threatening, and his eyes gleamed with hatred at the sight of Red Scar.

“So, what should we do now?”  Elaine whispered in a hushed voice, her tone full of worry.

“Charge in, run the bastards through, and save Amelia.”  The knight grunted and leaps over the undergrowth.

He then rushed straight into the bandit gathering. A lone bandit draining his jug of ale in the forest’s dark corner noticed Haste, and lifted up his throwing axe in alarm. Even before he could respond, Haste ran the bandit through with his great sword, crimson blood bathing the sword’s wooden hilt. By the time Conrad and Elaine had managed to reach the clearing, several outlaws had been alarmed of the intruders’ presence. They rushed in like feral dogs, thirsty for the stream of killing and carnage. A towering brute charged toward Haste, swinging his monstrous morning star at the knight’s unprotected face. Without a moment’s hesitation, Haste dodged the bandit’s attack and stabbed his blade through the man’s heart. The giant fell down with a soulless thud, but other outlaws rushed into fill his place. Elaine sprayed the outlaws with her crossbow bolts, each of them falling down with an arrow head protruding from their chest.

From behind, a ragged savage swung his blade in an upward slash, aiming for Conrad’s head. Conrad did his best to parry the attack with his shabby quarterstaff, and ran around dodging the following blows frantically. When he finally caught the man on surprise and slammed the butt of his stave against the outlaw’s skull, Conrad looked around to assess the current situation. Most of the bandits had fallen to Haste’s blade, and the few who survived had ran away in fear and trepidation. However, he saw no sign of Elaine.  Conrad searched the wooded area, and finally spotted her leaning against a large oak. Besides her stood a grim warrior, clad in rusted mail and holding a black, twisted falchion in his grip.

“Red Scar!” Conrad gasped as he recognized the nefarious criminal. He shouted at the top of his lung to inform Haste. Before the knight could reach Elaine, three wickedly armed bandits leaped out from beneath the underbrush and engaged him in combat.

Swoosh!

Red scar’s black iron falchion rose high over Elaine’s head.  Haste was stuck in battle with the three bandit lieutenants, grunting and cursing every time he parried their attacks.  As the blade hacked down, Conrad cried at the top of his lungs, “No!”  He was too far to rescue Elaine, and only equipped with a wooden staff besides.

I want to be stronger, Conrad thought to himself, I want to be able to protect her.  With that, the runes upon the magical tome glowed with a golden light.  Vicious gale swept through the deciduous forest and leaves flew like a rain of spears.  As Conrad rushed toward the bandit chief, his instincts seem to tell him what to do.  It was always hidden beneath me, lurking, enshrouded by my own consciousness.  Now, I just hope that this plan would works.  He flipped through the ancient book and shouted out the only magical spell that comes to mind.

“Terra Murum!,” The earth rumbled and roared to his command, heaving like a giant beast.  A solid wall of humus and stone rose between Elaine and Red Scar just in time as the sword slash came down.

Shiank!

The iron blade scraped against one of the stone chunk, and sparks flew like flaming arrows in the darkness.

“What in the world?” cursed the outlaw chief, as he instinctively retreated away from the magical earth wall.

“I would say this is for hurting Elaine, but also because I just want to burn you to a crisp.” Conrad said.  His tone was so chilling that it would instilled fear into the heart of even a seasoned bandit like Red Scar.

“Bagatrum Inferno!”  A monstrous, scorching ball of flame rocketed forward and devours everything in its path, lighting the entire forest in an eerie orange glow. The hell’s inferno leaves only flames and ashes in its wake, along with the trails of fire, death, and destruction.

Froom! The ashen forest combusted relentlessly, as flaming tree trunks fell down with showers of sparks.  The air was smoke and sulfur, but it did nothing to hide the gruesome smell of charred flesh.Among the burning remnants laid a body, charred so badly that he was recognizable only by the black, dented falchion by his side.  As Conrad lifted his gazed form what remained of Red Scar, he turned around and wrapped Elaine in a warm and passionate embrace.

“Are you alright?” Conrad asked in a tone full of concern.  At that moment he felt his heart beat a little faster, and nothing in the world seems to matter besides the two of them.  Conrad lifted up his hand and gently wiped out Elaine’s tears.

“I was so scared.” She replied with a shaky voice, and hugged him even more tightly.  As Elaine was recovering, Haste had rescued Amelia from one of the camp’s largest tents.  A fair maiden with black hairs and eyes, she looked more shocked than terrified by the entire occurrence.  After Haste had help her onto the reins of his rouncy, he mounted in just behind and made a signal to Conrad and Elaine.

“It’s time we get back home.”  Haste whispered, and together the party galloped toward the rising sun.

Almost immediately after they had arrived in Derby, Haste and Elaine were called in to have an audience with the lords and barons, to reward them for the great deeds they had done.  Conrad sat upon a rocky grey boulder by the river bank and gazed at the slow flowing, crystal clear water.  His mind went back to the moment he had rescued Elaine.  Conrad’s heart skipped a beat when he thought about holding her in his arms, and the surge of tenderness and joy he felt during that time. He clenched his fist together in frustration and confusion about this feeling within his heart.

After a while, he lax his clenched fists, both of them white from the strain enforced. While he stared at his open palm, Conrad recalled back to his long, almost-forgotten past.  He was always the quiet one in school, sitting way back at the end of class.  Other kids would go off with their friends for lunch, but he always sat there, on the grim, solitude bench, all alone.  Once in a while, however, she would sit on the seat across to him, with her bright, shining smile upon those lips.  After a long, suffocating silence, she would always ask him those same questions, in a soft, caring tone.  ‘How was your day?’  They were short, simple words, yet their warmth simmered deep within his heart.  She was his first love, his only love, and he could not believe anyone would be able to replace her.  Yet, just now with Elaine, how did he felt so… in love?

While he was lost in thought, the village elder appeared from behind, and sat down besides Conrad. 

“Did you know? Haste is going to be ordained as a royal knight, as a reward for rescuing the Lord of Derby’s daughter. He also had plans to wed Lady Amelia by the end of this year.”  The old man’s only response was the uttering silence that followed.

“I heard you had found the key to going back within yourself,” the elder continued, “what are you going to do now?”

Thats exactly the problem, Conrad cogitated.His troubled gazed was fixated on the elder’s kindly face as he replied, “Do you suggest any alternative?”

“Whatever you do, decide on it quickly.  The time portal spell could only be cast on the night of the full moon, which is tonight.  Once that is passed, the gate would close forever.”  The elder ended his answer with a startling fact.  “I will ask again, what will you do?”

Huff-huff, The young woman was red-faced from running, her hazel-brown curls clinging to her sweat-stained face.  She approached an agedly man that is snoring peacefully, and shook him on the shoulders.

 “Where is Conrad?” Elaine questioned the elder, who was slouching on a low, wooden bench stationed prior to her house.  “I had looked for him all over the place.”  Elaine was distraught. She had something she direly wanted to tell that strange, yet surprisingly warm and compassionate stranger, before he forever disappeared from her life. 

“He went back.” The agedly man replied in a strangely casual tone, his eyes still cloudy from sleep.

“What did you mean by that? Did he go somewhere?”  Elaine inquired, puzzled by the ambiguous answer.  Her brows knitted together in confusion.

“Young one, “the elder explained calmly, “Conrad went back to where he came from, a place beyond our mind and grasp.  He is gone now.”

Am I too late? Elaine thought to herself.  She stood there frozen in place.  “Oh,” the elder called out, “he also left you this.”  He handed a thin paper scroll to her.  She unrolled the parchment and started to read the letter’s contents.

 

 

Dear Elaine,

You probably wouldnt know it, but I was charmed by you from the first time we had met Our adventure together only served to intensify the feeling, to a level that it could be called love”.  All of those feelings, however, were masked by my arrogant, will full, and headstrong nature, and never made it to you Now I regret it I regret that I had time with you, but never fully appreciate it I regret that I truly love you, but never put my effort into expressing it And I regret that I should have face you with more courage, and be truer to my heart Now I have lost them all, and no matter what I do I couldnt bring them back The final words that I would like to tell you, to be able to finally pour out the contents of my heart and tell you, is that I love you Truly, madly, deeply, I am in love with you And no matter how long the decades that sets us apart, I will always love you

With Love and Farewell,

Conrad

 

As sparkling drops of tears trickled down Elaine’s rosy, pink cheeks, she whispered softly, “All this time, I had felt the same about you.” Her big hazel-brown eyes were brimming with tears, and she brushed them away with the back of her hand.

“How could you leave without saying a word, a good bye?”  Her body trembled slightly as she sobbed, not being able to control herself.  The parchment was now splotched with teardrops, and more dropped down onto the paper with a soft, squishy, pae.  “When I finally fell in love with someone for the first time, why do you have to leave?”  Elaine cried out, as the rain fell down and mixed with her tears.  She knew it was stupid and foolish, but she still wanted to hope that he would appear beside her, and wiped away these tears.  While Elaine was standing in the rain, soaked and crying her heart out, a firm hand grabbed her and pulled the young women into a warm embrace.

“I just cannot do it, leaving without you.”  The mysterious stranger sighed.  Elaine looked up only to cry out in astonishment. “Conrad!”  Tears of joy welled up in her eyes, “Didn’t you leave?”

“I was about to, but decided against it and came back to you.”  Conrad replied with a smile.  “For I had fallen in love with you, Elaine.”

“And I thought you would never say that!”

 

Then the two of them kissed passionately under the moonlit rain, and the starry sky.

 

 

 

 

 

The End

 

 

 

 


© Copyright 2017 S. K. Inkslinger. All rights reserved.

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