The Natural World: Prophets of Stone – Chapter 8: Hatred

Chapter 8: Hatred


      Sye found himself poked with Valquire’s staff. Everyone else was already up.

      “Wake up; there are screams.”

      Sye opened the door outside, but could only see a few trees.

      “Are these trees coming to get me?”

      “Don’t be foolish, look over there.”

      In line with Valquire’s finger, nothing stood where a house once was. Another house or two was also gone, with only crumbled dust covering the square shaped dead grass. A man stood in front of his house, more curious than disturbed at the moment.

      “What happened here?”

      “I, I have no idea,” said the man, grabbing Sye’s shirt. “My house is gone. It’s gone, and I don’t know how it happened.”

      The man stumbled into the ground. Chavis suddenly dropped his jaw. “Sye, we must leave now. I know what happened.” In the woods behind Sye a clashing of hundreds of small metal sounds mixed with the chirping of crickets approached. “Sye, run.”

      Sye turned into the direction of the sounds. Before he could react, thousands of small metal objects rushed out of the forest and into the air. Sye stumbled over into the ground, barely avoiding them. When the creatures arrived at the top of the sky, they flew to the nearest house and consumed it. They started with the roof as a brown fog covered the small metal creatures and the house. As the dust settled, no house was visible, nor were the people within. Then, they spotted Sye getting up from the ground.

      The croaking screech they created echoed across Gaia. The creatures flew down on Sye, but they found themselves colliding with a large white barrier. Sye felt the white bubble around him as the small creatures continually rammed the barrier and fell down, screeching. These creatures had the metal body of a mouse, yet contained sharp multilayer teeth, along with two layers of wings that were as thin as a dragonflies, yet somehow they still flew. Sye spotted the white arrow on the ground. He checked himself, but realized he didn’t have his sword, but how could he use it inside the barrier?

      The metal creatures flew higher, continually crashing into the bubble as one large ramming force, only to be deflected again. Many fall to the ground and never get up. A few more of the townspeople emerged from their homes and witnessed the event.

      After more of the metal creatures fell, the rest of the large hive squealed and retreated into the forest. Once the last one vanished, Sye pulled up the arrow. He ran to his sister, who ran to him, and they grabbed each other.

      “Thank you, Sara.”

      Sara had shed a tear from her left eye. Sarah immediately pushed Sye away. “You idiot. I’m not going to lose you too.”

      The group of townspeople that had gathered stood in silence, until one spoke up; the owner from the hotel they had stayed.

      “Did you see that? They must have brought those creatures here.”

      Sye and Sara widened their eyes and looked at Valquire.

      “Damn,” shouted Valquire. Valquire looked at Chavis, and they both nodded. They walked slowly to Sye and Sara. The hotel owner continued to point at them.

      “That white thing, I saw that girl use it.”

      “Are you insane,” shouted Sye, “they attacked us.”

      His words were not heard, and the voices of the villagers echoed their fears.

      “Hans was in that house.”

      “You killed them.”

      “You brought it here.”

      One man picked up a rock and threw it at the group, but it could not reach them. Others began to throw rocks as well. The eyes behind the townspeople were not normal. They had suddenly lost themselves.

      “Sye, Sara,” said Valquire, “Run.”

      Sye and Sara ran toward the gate, then heard a loud rumbling. They turned behind to find Valquire using his staff. The vibration from the shake toppled some of the people as they fell back onto others. Valquire and Chavis caught up to them, as all ran as fast as they could to their boat. The clouds darkened, and the rain came.

      Valquire shoved the tree stumps from the boat while Sye brushed aside various branches. Valquire quickly tapped the oar to the ground, but the villagers had caught up to them.

      “There they are.”

      “Kill the abomination.”

      With everyone in the boat, it started to move forward, but that was the problem, it had only started to move.

      “There isn’t enough time.”

      Valquire removed the holding from his staff and placed it onto the ground. The staff dragged along the ground, creating a large vibration. The villagers were only five feet from the boat, until a large cracking of the earth split the land. The crack extended outward as a few people fell into the hole.

      The boat built up enough speed to get away, but Sye had seen the people fall. As the boat left the forest, Sye let go his rage and tackled Valquire out of the boat. Chavis stopped the boat before it moved even faster.

      “What have you done?”

      Sye attempted to punch Valquire, but Valquire caught Sye’s punch.

      “I saved all our lives.”

      “But you killed them. They hadn’t done anything.”

      Sye felt the rain drenching his clothes and sticking to his body. Valquire stood up.

      “They would have killed us Sye. They would not have listened to any explanation.”

      “How can any of that be justified?”

      “We no longer live for our own survival alone.”

      Lightening flashed behind Valquire. Sara and Chavis remained in the boat. Sye walked past Valquire without a reply and arrived in the boat next to his sister.

      “It’s wrong, Sye, because I wanted them dead, too.” Lightning flashed as Valquire tapped the oar to the ground. The boat sped forward through the rain as the thunder crackled.

      *       *       *

      Lycious, I see the enemy.

      The one who captured Sye?

      Yes. Magnard’s life is where I should begin. He lived in luxury, the son of a wealthy man, but, the more wealth his father gave him, the more he was never satisfied. Magnard studied magic as a boy until Deric found him one day and tempered with magical skills.

      Deric is considered the most evil wizard in all of history. Near the end, Magnard disagreed with Deric’s methods, stating that they should rule mankind, not destroy it. Magnard left Deric to fight the chosen heroes fifty years ago. He then fled to Voltare and had a tower constructed. He killed everyone in Voltare and surrounded it in a mysterious fog. No one has traveled to Voltare in years, and the superstitions that one person on the planet can still use magic frightens everyone who hears it. Who could stop such a man, if he were the only one with such power?

      Can he use magic?

      That is what I must find out. It contradicts the spell if he does, and could signal the undoing of the spell itself. But, he might just be using rumors to spread his power.

      If Magnard is so powerful, why has he not acted in 50 years.

      A good question. Most people think he is dead. I see a man in Barda, claiming to be the son of Magnard. He claims that all rights to Voltare are his since his father is dead, regardless of how it came to be his father’s country. Nicholas Barda rules Barda, and was amassing a small army to travel into Voltare and burn the tower to the ground, but Magnard II said he had no legal right, and that he would seek alliances with other countries if he invaded. Nicholas knew that everyone in Voltare was either dead or living in Barda, and with increased security on his country to protect it from outside invasion, the assignment to destroy Magnard’s tower was abandoned. Nothing had come from Voltare in almost fifty years, it was not a high priority threat. And so, four years ago, Magnard II entered Voltare and claimed his father’s tower.

      Four years?

      I saw the date on Magnard’s will. Magnard II signed it four years ago. He went to Barda because he knew they were planning an attack, and deceived them by saying he was collaborating with Barda’s enemies. But now, I see Magnard II wearing a helmet. Sye is chained, as a helmet extracts more information from him.

      *       *       *

      “So you witnessed that thief Valquire kill for the first time. What a pity. But how is it you knew to come here eventually. There was no indication of my name on this stone, and yet you assume I have answers.”

      Sye gathered all his strength to ask with a stern expression. “Don’t you?”

      “You have been deceived if you believed anyone can force a comet. Not even when magic existed was that possible. Magic can only extend its power across this planet. Only when it was banished did it flee.”

      Sye coughed. His head felt as if his brain was boiling.

      “Why are you doing this?”

      “Because, Sye. I will soon become a god, but I must know if somewhere on the rock or in your travels you discovered a way to defeat me.”

      Magnard pushed a button on the wall. The stone door behind folded to the left.

      “Time to interview your lovely sister.”

      Magnard II cracked a smile, as Sye screamed. “I’ll kill you.” Sye’s chair flung backwards along a track into the hole and the door slammed.

      *       *       *

      He mentioned Valquire killing the townspeople. He is seeing what you do.

      Not quite. He is limited to what they have seen; whereas I can see across many people and times. Yet, this Magnard disturbs me. I have seen no indication of Magnard except that of 50 years ago. What happened to father and son between those 50 years?

Return To “Chapter 7: Gathering”                    Continue To “Chapter 9: Traveler”

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