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Excerpt from Avenging Knights ROLH; Chapter Six

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Good evening everyone.  Here is a sample from my first novel “Avenging Knights Rebirth of Lost Honor.”  The story was in running form as respective missions were underway for the goal of saving their fallen companion Mela.

As an adventure story goes, nothing good happens with clouded thoughts..

Enjoy, and thanks for taking the time to read it :o)

 

CHAPTER SIX

 

 

Back at the home base of the noble knights; Pointo was completing the final touches on the RDT as the first unit responded to his electronic commands. The machine human walked forward and stopped several feet from Pointo. The other three machines stepped up and stood alongside the first unit. The human machines were a silver color as they were made of metal. All four machines were the same size but their appearances varied according to their programmed duties. One machine was the radar of the unit, the other a corroponder, the third a visual device, and the fourth was the central intelligence of the unit. Pointo, joyful as a father during child birth, spoke directly to the intelligence unit in an effort to test out the command system.

“Man U1, do you comprehend?” Pointo asked eagerly.

The technical creation turned with the clashing sound of metal upon metal towards its maker, and answered back promptly. “Yes sir, Man U1 is operational and fully functional; awaiting next command.”

“Good,” replied a proud Pointo. “Run a diagnostic on the other units and report back to me upon completion.”

“UNDERSTOOD SIR,” replied Man U1 as it moved towards the other units, following through with the order that it had received! Pointo walked back to the room where Indigo was recovering to check on his companion. It was the 5th day of Indigo’s coma and there was still no change. He was starting to become more concerned about the possibility that Indigo may never awaken. At least the internal bleeding had stopped. Pointo placed a damp rag on the forehead of his fallen friend while checking the vital teller for signs of improvement.

“Where am—I…..” spoke a struggling Indigo weakly.

Pointo quickly turned to the now roused Indigo. He was so shocked by his hurt companion’s re-entry into reality that he momentarily forgot the task he was working on. The psigenist double checked the life instrument that monitored of Indigo’s condition as it displayed a remarkable increase on his vital signs. He then turned to the tattered face of the weary warrior to begin his reply.

“Indigo, how are you feeling?” asked a concerned but relieved Pointo.

“My head is of bad consequence, but I’m fine,” replied a tired Indigo as he turned his head slightly, adjusting to his surroundings. “I am back at the home base?”

“Yeah, you have been unconscious for six days now. What do you remember?”

Indigo rose up a little to get closer eye contact with Pointo. His eyes were slightly red but it didn’t hinder his reply.

“W-well,” stammered Indigo a little as he rubbed the side of his brow with his left hand. “I know that Mela and I were attacked by some monsters while coming back to the base. The horrid ones were swift with action but I defended us against a good number of them while Mela held several off on the other side of the dried riverbed. I was hit suddenly by a blast from some force that must have come from the leader I suppose….”

“The leader?” asked a curious Pointo. “What did he or it look like?”

“Hard to describe, I only viewed him for a second before being struck by a forceful light. After that I woke up here.” In the same breath the wounded warrior rolled his eyes around the room to view his surroundings, “Wait a minute, where’s Mela?”

“Missing.”

“Missing?!”

“Yeah. The others are out looking for her now, it’s a long story I will tell you later. First rest some more,” replied Pointo.

“I must lea—,” Indigo rolled over and sank back down as his head was now throbbing in pain. Pointo rushed over and opened Indigo’s mouth to give him a special type of liquid that would ease the discomfort. The liquid was made up of natural herbs and roots of the plains of Great hills of Talon, an art from the olden days of Suze Yoga. It relaxed the wounded knight to the point of unconscious. The snores now heard from Indigo assured Pointo that he would be just fine in a couple hours.

“I’m happy to see him stronger now,” said Pointo quietly, feeling relieved.. “I’ll let the others know about his condition upon the cessation of radio silence.

“I can hardly remember when your people found me in the woods of the 1st Kingdom; afraid and alone, my family dead.” He continued to gawk down at an asleep Indigo as the memories of his scattered childhood rose for a fleeting spell.

“Your father Tindgo Mir was wise and benign. I recall how he taught me the nature of the woods, the life substance that sustains our well being and creates humble stability. I remember the nightly campfires and tales of long ago and the ancestors who protected the sacred woods. Those woods once scared me as a young-ling and proposed a great struggle of bravery and cowardice. A struggle that engulfed the rest of my young middle age. Tindgo sat and told the stories while smoking timbe leaves, and he gave me the strength to face my fears even at the possible cost of my life. You must endure Indigo; for your people are only revered in strength, not frailty.”

Pointo then stepped back to the machine room to finish his testing of the RDT.
“The woods are becoming more desolate and unsightly,” Colorcode cried as the mini-bot tumbled across the winding trail. “Are we almost there?”

“To be truthful I don’t really know,” Razorblade answered tentatively as his eyes scanned the road. “The radar system is not in order….”

“The gems!” cried Colorcode. “The brightness of the gems will show us if we are near our destination.”

Razorblade, not wasting time, grabbed inside his leather casing and secured one of the gems that were glowing bright green. The knight gazed in amazement at the tint of the gem and the writing of a primordial language that hadn’t been spoken in the land for many multienos. He thought for a brief second before responding to his awaited companion.

“Theses gems are unquestionably vivid, but what are they trying to say?” spoke a befuddled Razorblade.

“It means something, we must distinguish the signs,” spoken Colorcode wisely as he marvel at the radiance of the gems. “The symbols are clear, we must be near.”

Razorblade glanced up from driving to peer around the environment as Colorcode performed the same action. The bordering trees were bent and menacing in appearance and no animals could be seen in the area. The skies were a gray color without the sun tracing across the heavens. The earth underneath the vehicle was thick and muddy, even though there was no rain and dry air. Shadowy gloom swallowed the knights as the trail grew nearly impassable due to the presence of various large size boulders. Their journey ground to a halt. The abnormal rocks were directly in the middle of the winding trail, surrounded by the dreadful trees. Both knights boldly stepped out of the mini-run.

“Let’s hike for a bit and see what’s beyond these rocks,” spoke Razorblade. “Be on guard for anything.”

Colorcode nodded his head in agreement as both knights walked several feet from each other towards the large rocks. He turned slightly behind and through remote control placed an energy shield around the mini-run to discourage any would-be intruders. Razorblade and Colorcode walked on each side of the boulders to see what was around the bend. The woods seemed normal but both knights, being of keen vision and observational skills, saw a small trail leading up a hill with fewer trees. Razorblade first drew out his sword as Colorcode followed. The trek up the hill was a hard one. The hill was very steep and long but the mission of reaching the death woods was very vital to the rescue of their missing companion. Both knights pushed forward with great determination to succeed in their mission. In wonder Razorblade viewed a large grouping of distorted trees and gray mist many yards away. His face twisted a little as the stench of dead flesh made his nose quiver for clean air. He suddenly remembered the gems that he had used earlier. As the knight reached for the gems and held them out in front of his chest, the vivid glow became extreme brightness and the gems burned in his hand. Razorblade drops the searing gems as their radiance engulfed their surroundings in green light and flashing beams.

“Sir, blindness is taking my eyes!” yelped Colorcode.

“Stay poised,” Razorblade replied.

After what seemed an age, the gems pointed away from the gray mist to another set of woods to their right. The woods seemed normal with the sounds animals running and the scent of noonday flowers blooming. The green light struck the outer woods and then without warning stopped. At that moment the gems rolled towards Razorblade’s feet as if their mission were complete. Razorblade picked up the gems that were now cool and held them in his left hand as he turned to his companion.

“Are you good Colorcode?”

“I’m fine,” he cried rubbing his eyes from the salty sweat. “The gems’ lights were focused towards the woods to the left but what does that mean? It can’t be those woods, too calm as if wind never touched them. They look like no curse has befallen them.”

Razorblade was quiet for a moment, remembering the words of Sharpstar as he received the gems at Middle Lake, “Remember Razorblade, use wisdom and discern the signs but always follow your heart.”

“The clear woods are our destination,” spoke Razorblade with conviction as his eyes stared strongly to his right.

Colorcode took notice of Razorblade’s strong belief in the gems’ decision and without doubt answered the brave warrior, “That is were we are going then sir, let’s get it over with.”

Razorblade grinned smartly as his eyes grew larger and his heart pulsed faster. “I am with you on that one, may our ancestors watch over us.”

Both knights walked towards the clear woods that seemed to forever bask in the bright light of day. They did not know what to expect; it all looked so normal. Razorblade drew his sword first in defense and Colorcode followed as they approached the woods. From this distance the woods were not as clear as they had at first seemed. A grayish air inhabited the outer ring of the unique forest. Both knights coughed in surprise as the fog was like a choking hand grasping around their necks. The fog smelled like someone was burning logs, and tasted like tangy fruit. The trees were obscured as the fog thickened. These were indeed the Darken Fogs of Nephlin’s Sorrow; the death woods of the ominous DeathStalker.

“Sir, this must be the place,” cried Colorcode.

“Yes it is. The gems are glowing so bright that my pouch is glowing,” replied Razorblade.

Colorcode nodded and walked towards the woods, but was stopped in mid stride by Razorblade. “Give me strength, give me anything to complete this horror,” pondered Colorcode. He was brave but only the foolish would ignore natural fear.

Razorblade glared at the woods as the smell of something burning became more intense. He turned to his friend who was standing still, almost like he was caught in some type of enchantment. “What a brave soul,” spoke Razorblade softly. The good knight cough as the fog was oozing greatly out of the trees as if they were warning them not to enter. He turned towards the trail to do a mental mark of where they came from then turned back to Colorcode, “Look, we must have a……”

“Razorblade—I shall see you later.”

“Huh, wait! Colorcode!!!”

Colorcode walked without heeding as he became one with the Darken Fogs of Nepihim’s Sorrow and stepped into the death woods of the olden land. The fog was blinding to normal eyes but his knight held his calm and in braveness placed his sword in its sheath and relied upon his sense of sound. He could see very clearly now as the trees themselves were warped and had no leaves living upon them and the ground was obscured by the mist. With no surprise the knight heard nothing amiss inside the woods and with careful steps walked silently in the murk. His heart became calm. He remembered the legend of the evil that inhabits the woods but fixed his eyes in front and his ears around the ghostlike environment.

“I wish I had a marking to follow,” he thought to himself. “I was told the description of the talisman piece. Yah’s hope I avoid the evil!”

The mortal fogs were becoming denser as the knight journeyed further into Nephlin’s Sorrow. The soil underneath his feet seemed to move with awareness. Colorcode stared down and this time could see the ground more clearly as the earth was totally black with the skulls of would-be travelers and decorated with gold. The knight’s face filled with anguish as his eyes squinted in horror at the sight. He knew he must be on his guard and not to lose his life over the mistakes of foolish travelers who had succumbed to death before him. He listened intently as blood trickled down from his left ear and dropped on his thigh before falling to the soil. He wiped gently at the opening sore of unknown origin in his ear and resumed his concentration in the Darken Fogs. His breath became stale as nervousness infested the inner being of this valiant knight. He felt like he had been walking for half a day but only twenty minutes had actually passed since his entrance into the accursed woods. His right hand began to tingle a bit as his ears picked up a low moan coming from his right. He used his extraordinary abilities to blend in with his surroundings. The armor of the knight became a grayish color and his skin darkened to the auburn of the leafless trees. In amazement the knight peered sharply in the direction of the low moans and viewed two apparitions floating menacingly. The fogs themselves seemed to be the living soul of them. Colorcode, in hushed dismay, viewed the apparitions with skeletal faces and inferno eyes glaring each direction as if they were hunting for someone. The cunning knight knew somehow that the specters were searching for an intruder and that he himself was that intruder. He knew if he was discovered the Darken Fogs would claim him and he would become one of the specters of this accursed woods.

“Must be still, my God……”

Colorcode’s heart slowed to a near halt as he became one with the fogs. The specters floated past him in continuation of their search. He dared not reveal himself until his ears heard nothing and his heart retreated from grief. The knight began a meditation of sorts as his mind wandered to the day he had left his hidden land of people. A peaceable tribe of clandestine natives inhabiting in 4th Lebos called; the Coppice People……..

“Father.”
“Yes Neu?”
“Is it true that you are leaving us?”
“Such matters are not for your ears as of yet, why do you query?”
“I heard Mother talking with Counselor Mottu and he said he will visit us while you are enduring your chosen task.”
“Neu you need not worry, I will return in good health.”
“I’m scared,” trembled the young child gasping tightly for comfort at her father’s leg.

The man softy lifted his young daughter up and held her lovingly in his arms as he strolled to the outside of his wooden home. The young child was fair in skin and her reddish hair flowed down to the small of her back in careful designs. Her eyes were brown and almost in tears awaiting the answer from her silent father. The man gazed deeply into his daughter’s eyes to reassure her that her Father would come home as he opened his mouth to speak again.

“Neu, do you remember when you were only eight?” replied the child’s father.
“Yes Father it was three enos ago, when Mother was under health.”
“Did I tell you that Mommy Tete was coming home?”
“Yes.”
“Well trust me in this—I am coming home,” replied the father. “Always remember Daddy Tetelee serving in the understanding of helping the guiltless is a worthy cause given to him by the gods.”

Neu wiped her eyes with her left hand as her cheeks went from being red to her normal fair complexion. The young but good humor child believed her father and decided not to question him on such matters in the future.

“Now little one, seek out to what Mommy Tete is doing……..”

Colorcode snapped back into the real world as the apparitions of Darken Fogs’ deception disappeared quietly in the back woods. The wary knight relinquished his color bend and continued his search within the accursed woods. The haunting air became more complex as the smell of limp flesh became detectable. The knight peered but more importantly listened with his mind for any signs of approaching evil. No sound came from the woods as his steps on the spongy soil engulfed his boots with polluted ooze. His heart stirred at an alarming rate until meditation calmed his radical spirit.

“I must not tarry in this accursed fog, I m-must find the talisman soon” Colorcode stammered quietly in the ghostly airs of the Darken Fogs.

Darkness fell more heavily on the woods as the knight searched for the elusive item of mystical proportions. The death woods’ spirit became more restless as the ground level sharply but mysterious rose up on a desolate hill. The dense fogs seemed to choke the air out of the brave knight as he trudged up the hill. Distorted trees hung sadly on the wretched path. The knight could hear no sounds at all from the accursed woods. Not even natural sounds as running water were detectable. His heart slowed to a slumber, his eyes twitched nervously as scattered sunlight fled from the haunted skies. He wondered where this imperiled evil would be lurking and how it would attack, but with boldness he hiked on to the top of the damping hill. Colorcode instinctively blended in next to a gray boulder covered in brown ivy, watchful to avoid yet another evil. Quietly he disguised himself as one with the rock as another eerie blight phantom hover past him. This entity had red eyes and translucent armor dripping acid upon the soil. As the fluid touched the ground smoldering holes formed in the black earth. In horror he viewed the ghoul’s face, its likeness that of a woodland dwarf of the Great Plains of Talon. The other apparitions he had seen had different faces but the same reddened eyes of wicked purpose.

“These phantoms must be the souls of the travelers who unwisely ventured into Nephilin’s Sorrow,” thought the knight to himself. The knight, still in disguise, stared to his right where the phantoms seemed to have disappeared. “I’d better get going.”

As Colorcode stepped out of disguise he ventured forward only a few feet before a shock of some kind pierced his head. He turned around and saw a grayish phantom coming straight at him with its ghostly hands extended.

“Let up too soon……” The good knight’s words were cut off as he somersaulted to the left in an effort to evade the ghostly evil. The reddened eyes focused back on the living essence of warm blood as he drew out his sword and took a swing at the apparition. The action was folly as his sword sliced only the tainted earth of Nephlim’s Sorrow. The apparition seemingly laughed at the efforts of Colorcode as its mouth cringed ajar showing hollow jagged teeth. The knight knew he must end this quickly so the DeathStalker would not become aware of his presence, and so he stepped backwards with his sword still exposed. The ghost floated towards the knight this time with both arms up as a swirl of Darken Fogs grew around him. Colorcode suddenly remembered the unusual staff he had found back at Sadderlings Keep and in one motion pulled the staff off of a hook on the back of his wooden armor.

“This ought to do something, I hope.”

He then dropped his sword and pointed the staff towards the phantom. In an amazing show of magic, the staff illuminated a bright light that engulfed the immediate area. The phantom suddenly vanished without making a sound as the good knight stared in wonder at the bone staff.

“Morf’s life, that was close,” Colorcode uttered as he placed his sword back into his sheath. He marveled at the staff he had found at the ruins of Sadderlings Keep in awe of the incredible powers it possessed. “I need to be more watchful next time. I’d better go before any others come for revenge.”

Colorcode once again resumed his journey into the Darken Fogs in search of the divided Talisman of Timbuktu.

Back outside the death forest Razorblade slumped on nearby tree rubbing his brow and worrying about the absence of his companion. He stood up and walked towards the mini-run glaring strongly at the corroponder, waiting for contact.

“Impetuous,” Razorblade mumbled to himself. “I can’t believe he took off without a plan of certainty.

The proud knight walked to the entrance of Nephilm’s Sorrow as the bitter breeze tore at his tired body. He paced impatiently but could hear no sound of normal life emoting from the deformed trees. He turned slowly back towards the mini-run in an effort to set up camp for a long stay.

“I don’t know how long Colorcode will be in there, but I’d better get my divan ready so I can rest,” remarked a sleepy Razorblade.

Razorblade lifted a sleep coat made of fur from Bison Buffs of the Great Plains of Talon for warmth. He grasped his provisions and before he placed them on the ground his corroponder emitted a beeping noise. Then without haste he reached down to pick up communication device.

“Raz, are you there? This is Sharpstar. Over.”

“Sir I’m here. Is anything wrong? Over.”

“No we are fine here, still en route to our destination. Did you reach your target? Over.”

“Yes, we are here now. Colorcode is inside the intended area. Over.”

“How long has he been in there? Over.”

“About two hours. Over.”

“Did you come upon Sadderlings Keep? Over.”

†Eline Klina Nactrica: Proposal of Treachery
formation of Thinking Error of Poor Judge of Affiliations against the kingdom-state
—added haughtiness with the ends of creating new
inner morals which will result in
grounds of assuming causes investigation to continue to no end
Ordination of Blood†
Will Have Thoughts for compliance only
base on high results of questioning might if propose thinking is not corrected
by decision of High Judge of Character of the Kingdom-state.
Only Class Spreme-A Spellcasters
are allowed to examine mental spirit for added
deception.

Razorblade paused for a brief second as his mind raced back to the destruction of Ardorn Lord Treymus’ last stronghold. The lifeless corpses of men and goblins haunted his memory. The torn body of Sir Treymus of Sye that was inhabited by the Tolrun Shade imprinted a malevolent vision of death and ruin.

“Razorblade?!”

“Sorry Sharpstar, Sadderlings Keep is completely destroyed. Over.”

“What? Come again? Over.”

“Its destroyed sir, and everyone in it are lost. Over.”

“OK Raz, we will talk about that later. Over.”

“Have you run into any problems? Over.”

“We were attacked by Cingelos. Over.”

“Crow Fire huh, I thought he was banished in the peripheral realms. Was he a demanding opponent? Over.”

“Yeah, but we dealt with them in quick fashion. Over.”

“Anyone hurt? Over.”

“Dogsircore was wounded but shows no lingering effects. Over.”

“I believe that he has uncanny strength. Over.”

“Well stay safe Raz; I will contact Pointo in a little bit. Let me know when Colorcode comes back with the piece of the talisman and I will do the same when we have found its counterpart. Over.”

“Understood sir, Razorblade over and out.”

Drawing by Kevin Ray of St. Louis, MO
Drawing by Kevin Ray of St. Louis, MO

The Darken Fogs were now imperceptible to eyesight, as the noble warrior of the Kemetic Woodlands, Colorcode, ventured farther in, the howling winds gave an eerie feeling to the knight as the stench of rotting flesh overwhelmed the air and smoke poured from burning trees. The knight, with one hand on the handle of his sword, reached the top of the blinding hill to see nothing. The howling noise of the wind became ear-shattering as the ground shook with incredible force. The brave knight stared around his surroundings but to his surprise no apparitions were within his sight. He stepped softy to his right as the fogs became a little clearer. He walked steadfastly down the foggy hill. The black soil seemed to be laughing steam as the fogs became one with the minerals of nature. He walked only a couple of feet until he came across an unusual tree trunk decorated gray and gold. On the top of the odd trunk was a shining silver fragment with primordial inscriptions written upon it that were beyond his understanding. With wisdom the knight surveyed his environment and again viewed no coming evil and so stepped cautiously towards the puzzling tree trunk. His legs began to tingle as anxiety threatened to overtake him. As he neared the stump he loosened his grip on his swords and knelt down on his left knee to examine the mysterious artifact. He once again uncovered the Saltarian gems that he had received from Razorblade before entering Nephilm’s Sorrow. The emerald gems glowed exceptionally bright as Colorcode placed them next to the unidentified article. To his great wonder, the gems displayed the same ancient writings that were written upon the article and like magic they transformed into greenish powder.

“My word, this must be the piece of the Talisman of Timbuktu,” proclaimed Colorcode as he placed the mystic article inside the pouch that used to hold the Saltarian gems.

The knight, glad his mission was complete, started walking back the way he had come but stopped in mid stride as an acid voice boomed with the howling wind.

“AZULRUN; where thou goest with the riches of old?

Colorcode turned around, drawing his sword out within the Darken Fogs to confront yet another evil.

“Who are you, and how do you know my native name?!” shouted Colorcode.

“Azulrun, Azulrun, Azulrun……”

The acerbic voice continued to repeat the valiant knight’s name upon the foul breeze as the trees started to move and voices from afar converged upon his location. The different voices were of all genders and tones, and confusion became his most dangerous enemy.

AZULRUN, Azulrun, azulRUN, AZULrun, azulrun…….”

The voices continued in many voices, women, children, and oddly of dying men. He heard voices from his dead family crying for help. He heard his own voice as he witness the death of his grandfather from an illness. He heard his daughter’s cries as his wife, her mother laid sick. He heard anger from villagers as they lost their lands to the kingdom-state. He heard screams of delight from rich men and stolen virgins for their pleasure. He heard the words of lies from leaders who gave long speeches and empty pledges of change. He heard many voices all the same, but very different. They symbolized ruin. Ruin of men to a state of uncertainty that they created. Ageless voices he heard also spoke of personal pain. In truth they were more painful to hear even for him, a brave one. He wanted to cover his ears, close his eyes and yell for peace. He couldn’t, but the thought kept ringing in his mind. He almost surrendered to them, but it would destroy him in body and in spirit. He held firm, eyes open and mouth closed. The stench of burning logs did not deter him, he was at peace even from this madness. At least for the current time.

The sound of amusement filled the accused Darken Fogs as the laughter now became a haunting echo in the mind of the brave knight. Colorcode ceased answering the evil that surrounded him and ran back down the path from whence he came. The foul wind now became a living gust as he was thrown down sharply on the black soil that felt like a cooking fire. Still grabbing his sword, the knight stood up and viewed the most horrifying whitish purple eyes hovering a few feet from him in mid air. The knight was absolutely flabbergasted as the voice spoke unforgettable words that froze his soul in petrified splendor.

“I AM BUT ALIVEEEEE, I AM BUT A LIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!”

Obeying his natural instincts, Colorcode instantly blended in with a tree. He saw a hefty black sword slicing down at his former position as smoke escaped from the accursed blade. With a quick glimpse he viewed several blond hairs from the top of his head floating among the foul wind as the burning blade scarcely missed his head. His eyes watered as the thumping sound of a very large entity approached. The smoke blade lifted upwards in the shaded fogs but the cunning warrior did not see the possessor of the accursed weapon. He hid for about twenty minutes, so afraid that his chest was throbbing from the pounding of his heart. His disguise was flawless in protecting him but Colorcode knew he would eventually have to leave Nephilm’s Sorrow. For now he is being hunted by the ill-famed; DeathStalker.

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