The Thief of the Rose - Cover

The Thief of the Rose

Copyright© 2012 by R22CoolGuy

Chapter 6

"You say it burned with a bluish flame, and the runes glowed as well!" Caleb exclaimed. "That is pretty amazing indeed. And you are sure you did not draw it from the scabbard?"

By the time Aaron had returned to the manor house it was well past first light. Morning training had already begun and since his nerves were still hypersensitive, he decided to forgo bed and burn off some energy. The Swordmaster noticed his energy and commented about it after the training session, which prompted Aaron's story of the events after leaving the warehouse.

"Like I said," Aaron continued, "I had just left the warehouse on my way back here, when I had this feeling wash over me. Something or someone was out there, and I could feel danger and anger or rage, which I do not understand. I keep a pretty good check on my emotions, but this was almost uncontrollable. I wanted to kill whatever it was."

"That sounds like the berserker rage," Caleb nodded his head, "I have seen that happen on the battle field, completely out of control attack, no thought for defense. You just keep going till you die, or the rage burns out."

"But that is just the thing," Aaron countered. "I was not like that at all. Sure, I felt the rage, but my mind was focused, I was scanning, looking for the source, calculating attacks, escape routes, everything. And my body went into attack mode. I pulled my sword, well, I think I pulled my sword, that part is still a little sketchy, but that is when I noticed my sword was in flames. Not exactly in flames, more like that blue flame you see in a fire close to the wood, dancing and running back and forth. The runes, now that was even stranger. The light was a pure white light, and I could feel power flowing outward all around me."

"And your sword has never done that before?" Caleb asked. "Ever?"

"No, I think I would remember that," Aaron replied, shaking his head.

Aaron thought for a minute, "wait, it did happen before, in the Duke's bedchamber, hmm, what is the connection?"

"Do you remember something?" Caleb asked.

"What? No, nothing." Aaron replied. "Thank you for workout, I think I will turn in and try to catch up on some sleep. Good day, Master Caleb."

"Nothing to thank me for," Caleb shook his hand. "Good day to you as well.

Aaron returned to the room where he was staying and after telling a page to wake him at lunch, fell into a deep sleep.

After a light lunch and checking in on his father, Aaron found himself back in the practice arena, where Micah was warming up with both Master Caleb and another Swordmaster. Micah made the introductions and Aaron grasped Master Landon's hand in greeting. After warm-ups were over, both "students" began practicing under the tutelage of their respective masters.

"Milord," Lord Malak, God of Truth, announced, "I request an audience."

Lord Devlin, God of Destruction, patron of Sorcerers, appeared before him, "What is it Lord Malak?"

Before Malak had a chance to respond a messenger Godling appeared, dropping to one knee. "Milord Devlin, we have detected a transportation platform in use, and 5 Tarran warriors are on Andor."

"Lord Malak, take 10 Godlings and deal with this trespass." Lord Devlin turned to the messenger, "Monitor the rest of the platforms on Andor."

In a certain clearing on the edge of the Thangdaemon forest, by the Old Kings' Highway, five warrior females stepped off of the platform. At that very instant, eleven beings came into existence in that same clearing.

A God or Godling draws his or her power from the Ethereal plane: while on the Material or Physical plane, that power gives their physical body a glow or halo. A God can hide the glow using the same power, but most like the awe effect. The weapon that a God uses is a manifestation of that power, rather than an actual weapon. Lord Malak's weapon of choice was the longsword, as were the weapons of the Godlings under him.

The warrior females were dressed alike; chain mail shirts and pants with red cloaks, shortswords and shields, emblazoned with a red rose.

"Protect the princess!" one of the warriors called out, as the four split into an inverted 'V', with the princess in the middle.

"You have violated the treaty that your ancestors agreed to," Lord Malak proclaimed. "The punishment is death, kill them."

The Godlings leaped to the attack, surrounding the V and pressing the warriors backward. Thrust, parry, feint, block, the fighting raged on, with neither side gaining any tactical advantage. Eventually, a warrior went down from a mortal blow, and the princess drew her sword and entered the fray.

Her sword burst forth in blue flames, as the runes carved into the blade from point to hilt glowed with a brilliant crimson red light.

"Red Rose, find them!" she cried out. "We are in peril."

Aaron had just finished parrying a thrust from Master Caleb, when his sword began to vibrate and then burst into blue flames, as the runes glowed black. The force of power from the sword, knocked all those within the vicinity of the arena to the ground. Aaron began to vibrate and then just disappeared! Master Caleb leaped to his feet and looked around, but Aaron was gone!

"Master Micah, are you alright?" Caleb asked. Looking around the arena he called out, "To arms, to arms, protect the Duke, secure the manor house!"

"Where did Aaron go?" Micah asked standing up. Immediately men at arms surrounded the young lord, as more men moved to the gate to secure it.

"I do not know milord," Caleb answered. "But do not worry, he knows his business. Let us get you inside, and then we can figure out our next move."

Aaron appeared in the clearing, taking in the scene before him. Eight glowing men were fighting with four women, as a ninth glowing man looked on. The being noticed Aaron, and turned toward him.

"You three, take him," Lord Malak commanded the nearest three. Three Godlings broke off their attack, and advanced on Aaron.

"Brother, help us!" the princess cried out, and then turned to help press the attack on the five remaining Godlings.

Aaron barely had time to process the word "brother", before the Godlings descended on him. With an upward slash he cleaved the closest Godling from waist to shoulder. The upper half of his body slid down off the lower half, and with a bright light, the body vanished.

The remaining two Godlings split to either side of Aaron and engaged him. They tried to press their numerical superiority, but Aaron fought back, again and again. The Godlings speed was impressive and Aaron fought to match it. His speed began to increase as his body instinctively began to draw power from his surroundings, and he pushed the advantage back at the Godlings.

As the Godling to his right feinted and timed a thrust to Aaron's thigh, which Aaron blocked, the one to his right took that opportunity to hack down on Aaron's left hand to severe it at the wrist. The blade hit the bracer, but instead of cleaving the wrist, the sword bounced up in a flash of white light and sparks. The Godling looked up at Aaron in disbelief as Aaron brought up his sword in a back swing and cut him in two, disappearing in a flash of light. Aaron pivoted and thrust his sword through the chest of the last adversary, who looked down at the sword and vanished as well.

The warriors were down to two, including the princess, but the Godlings were down to two as well. One on one, the women held their own and slowly pressed the attack. Aaron moved forward to aid the women when Lord Malak stepped in front of him.

Aaron smiled a feral grin and attacked. Malak was not prepared for the ferocity of the attack, and immediately gave ground. Aaron's goal was to push him away from the women, allowing them to deal with their opponents. Malak matched Aaron's every thrust and parry, drawing more of his power into the battle. Aaron instinctively drew more power from the surrounding area as his sword grew brighter, and brighter. Sparks scattered as blade met blade, arms throbbed from the strain of the blows.

Malak began to know fear, and realized that he was in peril of losing his physical vessel, resulting in banishment to the Ethereal plane.

"I require assistance," he projected mentally. "My Lords, send aid."

Aaron glanced over to the women to see how they fared The princess had just killed the last of the attackers, and she and her lone remaining shield-maiden turned to see how he was. "I must end this now," he thought.

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