Immortal Athenaeum

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

{Completed}

A young king's land is plagued by monsters. Desperate, he seeks out the mysterious athenaeum in hopes of finding a solution. Instead, he stumbles upon another mystery and unknowingly becomes a part of an ancient battle.


This is the first book in the Immortal Athenaeum short story series.


Enjoy :)

The quill softly glided over the paper.

The hand that held it in a firm grip, moved swiftly. Each letter, elegant. The ink seeping into the paper as the dangerous words formed on the yellow pages.

The hand stopped. The legend was complete. The words suddenly glowed and a deep chuckle followed. "Perfect..."

***

King Azorius Otois watched as another messenger came running through the crowded throne room.

The young messenger reached the stairs to the throne and bowed deep, holding a scroll out to the king. The latter nodded and a servant descended the stairs, retrieving the scroll. Returning to his place beside the throne, he offered the scroll to the king.

Azorius Otois took the scroll and opened it. His gaze darted over the words. The blood drained from his face and he handed it back to the servant, his eyes staring blankly ahead of him.

"My lord! Something must be done!", a man's voice echoed through the room. The crowd hummed in agreement with his words.

"We must take action soon, my lord", a man sitting at the long table to the left of the throne suddenly spoke.

"Pray tell, what would you have me do? Send my army to march against these...monsters? And for what? To have men die yet achieve nothing?", the king answered.

"My king", an older man, also sitting at the table, spoke. "I beseech thee to look where thine own father did. He had answers when no one did."

"Where would you have me look, my prince?", Azorius asked, weariness leaking from his otherwise deep and full voice.

"My lord the king, there is a room in this castle. A room full of wisdom that only opens to the king."

"Yes, I know of that room. The athenaeum. But it has yet to open to me."

"You are king now, my lord. Surely it'll open for thee, a noble and honest king."

Azorius's dark eyes rested on the elderly man, recalling the memories of the iron door at the end of the dark hall that he had visited so many times as a young boy. He sighed. "Then I shall seek out the wisdom from the athenaeum."

***

Azorius stood before the tall iron door that stretched up to the ceiling. He slowly reached for the large spiral-shaped handles. He paused.

Would he find what he so desperately needed behind these doors? Would they finally open to him? The doors that allowed his father through, but not him, even as a grown man – a king?

He slightly shook his head and dismissed the thoughts. He took a deep breath and pushed. The doors gave in beneath his somewhat rough yet gentle hands and slowly swung open.

Azorius's gaze swept across the enormous room as he entered. Large, tall shelves filled with books and scrolls decorated the entire room and reached up to the burgundy coloured ceiling. A large desk of dark wood stood by the covered window, directly opposite the door and a regal chair behind the desk offered an elegant touch. A thick and soft carpet of the same colour as the ceiling covered the floor.

Azorius stood in awe for a moment. A frown suddenly crept over his face as he realized that the room was well lit by the burning wall scones and desk candles. As he walked closer, he noticed the open scrolls and books, the inkpot and quill and the nearly burnt out candle on the desk. He stretched his hand out to pick a scroll up from the dark, polished wood.

"State your business now or leave this place", the melodic female voice startled the king.

He swirled around, searching for the source of the voice. The king's jaw involuntarily dropped. A woman stood, not far from him, her thin figure dressed in a faded light-grey dress of simple design. Her long flaming red hair tamed into a simple braid lying across her shoulder and nearly touching the soft carpet. Her pale skin, smooth and clear, gave a sharp contrast to the deep, ice-blue eyes that sharply stared at the dark-haired man before her.

Her gaze swept across his lean figure covered in expensive clothing and travelled swiftly over the golden crown, adorned with various stones resting on his curly hair, and glided over his handsome face before coming to a rest on the troubled yet surprised dark eyes.

A moment of silence rested in the great room before the king composed himself. "I am Azorius Otois, son of Norius Otois, king of Rozvenda. I seek guidance from these books and scrolls to defeat an enemy plaguing my kingdom- horned, snake-like creatures that leave chaos and destruction in their wake. If you are the keeper of this athenaeum, then I beg thee, my lady, help me find the answer...for I know not what to do."

The woman silently stared at him. An honourable man, otherwise he wouldn't be able to enter. Like his father. But could she trust him? Yet, looking into his desperate, pleading eyes, she could see the honesty in them. She sighed softly. "Very well, my lord. I know of which creatures you speak." She turned around and walked towards a shelve. "These creatures are known as Rossecs", she said as she ascended the wooden ladder resting against the shelve. "They cannot be slain by mortal means."

She retrieved a scroll and climbed back down. She strode towards the desk and sank into the regal burgundy chair. She gently opened the scroll and remained silent as her blue eyes scanned over the letters. The king stood beside her, his eyes gliding over the letters without understanding a word.

"Here", the woman said and pointed her finger at a passage. "It says that a Rossec feeds on terror and chaos. The creatures will continue feeding unless defeated by an arrow dipped in the essence of calm order."

Azorius scoffed. "I come for answers only to find riddles."

"My lord the king shouldn't give up so soon. A mere court wizard is capable of creating what you need with the help of an apothecary."

The king's gaze met the blue ones. "What of the 'essence of calm order'?"

"My lord, it is a reference to the stones of calm and order. "

"The Virtue Stones?", Azorius said and reached up to gently touch the crown on his head.

"Yes, my lord. The stones on the crown are no mere decoration. They each contain powerful magic. Only a true king may remove and use them."

"Then we are doomed." The king turned away.

"My king, you would not have gained entrance if you weren't honourable."

"But there's a difference between an honourable king, and a true one", he said and turned back to face the woman. "My father was a true king."

The woman allowed her gaze to rest on him for a moment. "If that were true, my lord, why then are the Rossecs here?"

Azorius frowned.

"If your father were the true king you believe him to have been, he would've been able to put their legend to rest."

"What is that supposed to mean?"

The woman sighed and stood up, walking towards the window. She gently pulled the heavy burgundy curtain aside and stared out. "These creatures come from a legend, my lord. These shelves are filled with them. Each legend holds a different danger. But they have all have one thing in common."

"And what might that be, my lady?"

"Only a true king can put them to rest. Turn them into vague stories told to little children."

"Are you saying that each legend is real?"

The woman nodded, the corners of her thin lips pulled downward. She glanced up into the king's pale face. Her face softened. She walked over to stand in front of him and carefully lifted her arms. Her gaze met his for a moment before she gently removed the crown from his head.

She held her hand out to the king. "If I may, my lord?"

Azorius hesitantly placed his hand in hers. She guided his hand to one of the stones. It glowed softly beneath his fingers and his gaze snapped to hers. She nodded and pulled her hand away. The king curled his fingers and pulled the stone free.

"I believe this speaks for itself...", the woman said, holding his gaze for a moment before she turned around and sat down in the chair. She pulled a piece of paper from inside the scroll and handed it to the king. "This is the recipe and instructions for the poison. It must be created with the stones. Have your men dip their arrows in it, and then march on the Rossecs." Her eyes met the dark ones. "But you must be the one to fire the first arrow, my lord. Otherwise, the magic from the stones inside the poison would not work..."

The king hesitantly took the paper from her. He stared into the striking blue eyes. "How do they call you?"

"My name is not important, my lord", she softly said.

He opened his mouth to argue but the authority in her eyes stopped him. He found it strange and couldn't the frown from tugging at his brows.

"You must make haste, my king. The Rossecs do not wait idly."

He stared down into the blue eyes for a few more moments before reluctantly nodding thanks and turning around, striding towards the door. When he reached them, he glanced back at the woman, finding her standing by the window and staring outside. He sighed softly and lowered his gaze.

Azorius Otois pulled the doors open and left, hearing them shut tightly behind him...

~~The end~~

 


Submitted: February 09, 2021

© Copyright 2021 RosaliaJerika. All rights reserved.

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