Warren Vandal

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


be kind this chapter is trying something a little different.

Chapter 8 (v.1) - Chasing Legends Part 2: Unwelcome surprises

Submitted: May 15, 2019

Reads: 13

Comments: 1

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Submitted: May 15, 2019

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Chasing legends 2: Unwelcome Surprises
 
We packed it in for the night a couple of miles outside the canyon. We lit a small fire and ate after. In the meantime Sundew was etching new runes their weapons while erasing their old ones, Hernes included.  Grace examined my weapons
 
She shook her head, “Honestly what were these people thinking, the weapon is beautiful, but it is more likely to get you killed. These pistol blades have poor balance, and the added weight makes it difficult to fire a clean shot. I could make short work of you using just a sword and pistol”, she said handing them back to me. 
 
I felt a little insulted, “I rather like them a lot...”
 
Jack got serious for a moment, “I know they were a gift from your girlfriend, but weapons are not about what looks good. Weapons are good because they function well, and are reliable”, he paused to eat part of a sandwich, “I kind of like you now cuimilt, and I would like us all to survive this little mission”
 
I blushed, “Sundew and I...are not...”
 
Grace shook her head, “You and your lady love can figure out what you are to each other later. Right now I need you to focus on what I am trying to teach”, she said rolling her eyes. 
 
Herne laughed, “I would listen to the lady, she was a thorn in the Queen of Englands side for years and was offered a place in her navy fleet”, he said as he cleaned his rifle. 
 
I was curious, “How did she come to be with the Faeries?” I was curious all of these people were human. I had never thought to ask before. 
 
Grace smiled, “The fair folk like the exceptional. Herne was the best hunter in his day, he stalked the forests of Windsor. Jack O’Kent beat the devil at his own game more than once. Quite the clever fellow, I believe there was an incident with turnips?” she asked Jack. 
 
Jack threw his hands wide in a mock shrug, “It is not my fault he assumed I was planting wheat. I believe I told him to enjoy the tops”, he said and we all got a laugh out of that.
 
Grace continued, “Sundew is an exceptional faery. I have never seen anyone better at runes, or anatural talent for mechanical devices.  You are a rare magic user type, and we clearly underestimated your ability to lead. The queen may seem like she is throwing you in the deep end cuimilt, but you were ready for it whether you thought you were or not”, she said without any embellishment. 
 
I understood the nature of the faeries now, well better than I did, “Okay so how do I fix my sword problem?” I asked.
 
Grace smiled, “Auramancy of course. I wondered why you were not using magic in our fight with the dog men. Then I realized claimoh solais must have taken useless form the first time you cast it. I also noted you were using these useless weapons, during the fight. You were getting familiar with them”, she said as a matter of factly. 
 
I was surprised at how much Grace noticed, “You would be right”
 
Herne nodded, “Some weapons may be useless in material form. Sundew chose these weapons well for you. These are perfect in terms of your magic because magic energy has no weight. More importantly, the pistol aspect of your weapons, adds to your strikes”
 
Grace smiled, “Now I want you to look at this weapon, stay focused on it, and then cast the spell. The gauntlets you wear will make this easier”
 
I focused on the blade thinking about its weight and balance. the difficulty was focusing on the cylinders being loaded. When I thought I had the weapons clear in my mind, “Claimoh solais”, at first it looked like it was going to happen, but the damn hockey stick appeared, along with the goalie blockers. 
 
Grace studied it, Sundew laughed, “Oh hey its the barbarian stick you beat the Acheri to death with”, she said fondly. 
 
I was mortified, “Sorry I played a sport before I did this. I am most familiar with these objects”,  I said in a weak voice. 
 
Herne sighed and handed me the blades, “You will practice sword fighting until it they feel like an extension of your body. Jack care to jump in?”, he asked. 
 
“Are they loaded?” he asked 
 
I looked in the cylinders, “Yup”
 
“Excellent its risky enough”, he said as grace handed him her cutlass
 
For two hours we practiced Grace was an ace at sword fighting, as was Jack. Jack was harder to hit. Every time I got close something tripped me up, or he would move in a way that would accidentally block my strikes.  “Impossible”, I said as he clumsily blocked another strike. 
 
Jack grinned wickedly, “I have a great deal of luck on my side, it is nothing I control directly. The more danger I am in the better it works, it is the reason why I will be the first to take on deadlier aspects of our missions. Its also why I enjoy me a good gamble”
 
Grace took my weapons, “Try again cuimilt, magic is like any other skill and requires time and practice to do properly”, she said watching me. 
 
I was tired, “Okay this time I will get it right”, I calmed myself and focused I studied the blade remembering what it felt like in my hand, how it flew, the balance and weight. I did not bother to focus on the cylinders being loaded since the goal was to form the weapon. “Claimoh solais”, this time the swords appeared, as did the goalie blockers. 
 
Sundew clapped happily, “Yay no barbarian stick this time. Why do those silly bucklers keep appearing?” she asked. 
 
I shrugged, “Who knows. Well at least this is progress”
 
Grace agreed, “Yes, now it must become second nature to summon them. Tomorrow as we explore the canyon I will say arm up. When I say this you will cast claimoh solais, If you successfully bring the blades into being, nothing will happen. If you fail, five minutes of swordplay with Jack will be initiated on the spot”
 
Jack looked at her, “Why me this is your lesson?” he asked in a whiny voice. 
 
Herne chuckled, “Luck will not always save you a gambler, I believe the cuimilt almost got you on more than one occasion, you two are equivalent in sword skill”, he said 
 
Jack looks offended, “Fine, but I won’t be happy about beating this cuimilt over and over again”, he said bitterly. 
 
When everyone turned in I stayed up and watched the fire. I used to go camping with my mom, and we would stay up late telling each other scary stories. Horribly told I might add. I wished she was with me. She always talked about touring the US and seeing all the corny sites, like the worlds largest ball of twine. 
 
Sundew came out and sat next to me, “Something wrong Warren?”, she asked 
 
I shook my head, “No, just wishing my mom was here. We planned on coming down here before I graduated see all the corny little sites, collect cheesy T-shirts. I gave her such a hard time about it...”, I trailed off as I saw headlights coming towards us. “Get the others, we have company and I am not sure if they are friendly”
 
I could hear the rumble of the engine and see the dust being kicked up by the tires. As it got closer it looked familiar, was that Ms. Kitty? “Claimoh Solais”, I said and much to my relief the pistol blades made of magic energy extended from my hands. I took up a ready stance as the others had taught me. 
 
I could hear Delfinas voice coming from the open door, “I cannot believe your mother is letting you do this. Honestly, this could have waited”, she said in an annoyed tone. 
 
Ileana smiled as she left the vehicle, “Oh hush you know what it is like, and look Warren is already out to greet us”, she said happily
 
Sundew came out with the others, “Your majesty what brings you all the way out here”, she said bowing. She seemed anxious for some reason.
 
I noted the others did not bow, in fact, they seemed very unhappy to see her. I shared their sentiments. 
 
Delfina hugged me, “Warren, I am so glad you are okay nino. I have been worried about you since you left for Rainbow lake”, she said as the smell of her black hair and grandma perfume filled my nostrils. 
 
Ileana came up to me, “Warren I have missed your presence, so mother has allowed me to come down and see you”, she said.
 
Sundew gave the princess an icy glare, “You should not have come Ileana, this place has dark creatures roaming around. This is no place for you”, she said in a rather snotty tone. 
 
Ileana frowned, “Sundew dear have you not slept enough, or have you forgotten I am the reason you got to be a part of this team?” she said in a hard tone. 
 
Grace smiled, “She has turned out to be a brilliant member of the team and was instrumental in our victory at Rainbow Lake”, she said 
 
The others nodded, “Yeah she was brilliant”, Herne said crossing his arms in a grumpy manner. I had not seen our sniper so displeased, even when he met me. 
 
The princess completely ignored how unwelcome she was, “I would like to speak to Warren alone please”, she said, her tone implied it was a command, and not a request. 
 
Everyone gave her a strange look and shuffled off Sundew gave her a look of undisguised hatred and watched her for several minutes. 
 
“Sundew, that was an imperial command, or have you become hard of hearing?”, she said reminding the faery of her place. Sundew said something under her breath and entered the Scald Crow. 
 
I was uncomfortable being alone with Ileana, and I felt a little guilty. I couldn’t say why, okay so maybe that is not a true statement. Sundew and I had taken to speaking at night. She told me about Tir Na Nog, and I would talk about life on earth. I had come to enjoy it, despite her love for the word barbarian. 
 
Ileana moved closer, and I felt even more uncomfortable,  Mother is going to give you a title, and that will make you royalty. You will be free to marry other nobility, I daresay with your recent deeds you will have no trouble attracting a suitable mate”, she said excitedly. 
 
I did not share this excitement, “I am flattered but I like the Scald Crow, and the team is really coming together. It would be irresponsible to leave them now. Hopefully, your mother will have the location of the Codex Gigas. I am eager to deny beings like Chernobog access to it”, I said seriously. 
 
Ileana looked displeased, “You are an auramancer and your talents would be useful elsewhere. These people barely like you...” she started to say 
 
“Can you blame them? All of them have more experience than I do. How would feel if someone less experienced took your position?” I asked her. 
 
Ileana glared, “Nobody could take my position, I was born a royal silly”, she suddenly went silent. “I was hoping you would entertain the idea of courting...”
 
Was she talking about taking me to court? “Are you suing me?”
 
“What? No, I said courting, you know getting to know each other and with time marriage”, she said in a wistful tone. 
 
“Pass”, I said firmly
 
Ileana glared at me, “Warren be serious, your loved ones would be protected and Delfina would no longer have to serve, and someone else could run around...”
 
I got mad, “This is my team, we are making a difference, these people really need help, and Delfina is most likely proud of me. Why is this so important to you?”, my tone was harsh and undiplomatic. 
 
She went red, “Well the lake maidens came for a visit and they had human husbands, it is the height of fashion...”, she said in a tone without shame. 
 
“This discussion is over. Now if you will excuse me I have a mission to prepare for. A valravn called Sorger Ven controls the Paiute reserve for the moment, we need to stop Chernobog is trying wake up the legend people and from what I heard that is not something anyone wants”, I said heading to the scald crow. 
 
Sundew poked her head out, and Ileana glared at her, “Does he know?”
 
“Please Ileana don’t be so petty”, Sundew said in a pleading tone
 
Ileana glared at her, “You have not told him? I am surprised you normally tell everyone everything. Why hide it from him unless... Oh I see now, you like him”
 
Sundew flew out from the Scald Crow, “Shut up that is not your secret to tell”
 
Ileana was enjoying Sundews misery, “She is an illegitimate heir to the throne. Father was indiscreet with a water fairy shortly after I was born. Delfina we should get going.  My work here is done. We shall join them in the canyon tomorrow, we shall see how effective this team is” she said in a petty tone. 
 
Delfina emerged, “Please tell me you said no. I cannot say why you should I have been sworn to secrecy. What I can say is Ileana wants the Scald Crow to fail, I heard talk of it being decommissioned, she is leaning on the council. I have no idea why her presence here is trouble”
 
I believed Delfina, I justed hoped Ileana's presence didn’t cost us our lives.


© Copyright 2019 Jolan T. Hildebrandt. All rights reserved.

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