Chapter 4

The Tower, the traitor, and the Sadness

Daniel stood up from his surprisingly found kneeling position and looked around, now that his eyes were clear.

His vision trailed to the ground as a dark strand of cloth disappeared in a puff of smoke. He looked up, now realizing that the world he was seeing right now.

It.. Was a twisted version of Stonebriar. The houses were crooked, and some were dilapidated and falling apart. The sky was dark, like the night sky, but with a dark and purplish hue to it. He looked at the villagers.

Instead of wearing tunics and cloaks, they only had rags and tattered blankets. All of them looked bedraggled some looked like they haven't eaten anything in days. Most of them looked sickly. The only thing that the villagers had in common was the dark pieces of clothe on their faces. They stumbled blindly at him, reaching out for something to grab onto.

Daniel backed up against the wall, his eyes widened at the sight of them as the villagers tried to find him. "Okay! Okay! Okay guys! Don't get all touchy-feely on me!"

The villagers hardly heard his cries as they touched his face, mumbling things that he couldn't hear but their tones were so desperate and sad. Their touch was so cold. Like all of their warmth was sucked out of their bodies, only to be replaced with a corpse-like feeling in the skin of their fingers.

A noise from a harp sounded behind the villagers. They turned and slowly walked, or in some cases shuffled, back towards the figure. She was still playing her song. Daniel reeled back in sadness. The melody was haunting, and the lyrics that went along with it were so sad. The figure sang in a high voice, one that had innocence to it

"Come, come back to the light. Come, see the flames!

And all that has been revealed, Come, see the light! and what you have watched

The Darkness has a heart of shadows… it can take control of your body and souls...

Dry, dry your tears. The queen, she is coming back! And all of the kingdom will forever be reborn…

. Come, see the light! And all that has brought before US!"

Daniel sniffed. The song was beautiful.

So, He thought bitterly. This is music. A crime that is dealt with by death.

He fought back some tears and bit his lip. This is my world? It's like a nightmare from a childhood that I never had.

Her song broke Daniel's heart.

"This… isn't what I signed up for, to look upon this world blind and let this continue." He whispered,

"So, now you know what you have seen is false."

Daniel, startled, turned around to see the figure with the harp.

But with a small difference this time. She had her hood down. It was the same girl from that… what?

From that weird place where his "darkness" was?

But, she was the same girl! The same auburn hair, the same green eyes, and the weird deer antlers! But, the light that she had produced didn't come off of her skin; it was part of her skin! It glowed a light green and it pulsed, like a heart beat.

The Maiden turned her head, and smiled a little. "This is what I do, I help the people. Awaken them, and resurrect them to the light." As she spoke she touched another villager's face. The darke clothe that was attached to the poor man's face glistened and started to become bigger due to the green light that was leaking into it from the Maiden's hand.

"Y.. Yes, I see. But, Who are you?"

the Maiden finished her spell and the Man blinked his eyes, and they followed the burning blindfold of darkness to the ground. He looked around, panicked, and then he fled the woman.

"Ah, well. He had so much potential. Too bad he was frightened of a change of scenery." She sighed to herself. "But…" She turned to Daniel slowly, "you, yes, Maybe.." She trailed off and Daniel felt indignant, " What? What is it?"

The Maiden put a finger to his lips and shushed him. "Shush now, shush. First off, my name is Andromeda. Now that that's taken care of, what's your name? Before all of this happened?"

Daniel straightened up. "Daniel Wilks, Swordsmen class. Apprentice Guardsmen, Quadrant number 645." Andromeda nodded. " Well, Daniel Wilks, Swordsman, Blind one, and resurrected man. What do you know of Stonebriar, before all of this happened?" She cast her hand, making Daniel look at the city, twisted and falling apart, and its villagers, huddled close together to keep warm in the cold night air.

"I…remember…nothing" Daniel caught himself in surprise, no, he couldn't forget his memories! He shook his head and closed his eyes. He clenched his hands and tried to remember something, a smile, a sword, anything! A cool hand touched his shoulder. He looked at it, then to the owner of that hand. Andromeda was sadly smiling up at him. "You can't remember anything, can't you?" Daniel rubbed his eyes, holding back tears. " Its just…. I can remember blurs of things. A hand, a smile, or a…."

He scratched his neck, chuckling a little. "A smack to the head from…someone."

Andromeda raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"

Daniel nodded. "Yes, but I don't remember who." He chuckled again

. Andromeda nodded and put a knuckle to her lips. "Hm…he has potential.." She trailed off again. Daniel tapped his foot and folded his arms. Andromeda plucked a string on her harp nervously. Then, she closed her eyes. Daniel looked at her curiously. She nodded, "yes, I see…" As if she was talking to someone, but somewhere else. She opened her eyes, then looked back to Daniel.

She smiled, then, she felt her cloak and found a pocket. She put her hand in it and pulled out something. It was something blue and gem-like, but she quickly pulled it away from Daniel's reach. Andromeda stared at him with wide and wary eyes.

All of the hairs of the back of Daniel's neck stood up from tension and fear. "What am I about to show you is so powerful and magnificent, it will change your life forever. But, you must swear by the Seven Codes that you will not use it in evil or in personal gain." Daniel was confused. "What Codes?" he said. Andromeda rolled her eyes, sighing. "Okay, well, swear by something, at least."

Daniel thought for a moment, trying to think of something. He scratched his neck, and his fingers came into contact with a small chain around his neck. He took it out of his shirt and looked at it. It was a small locket, in the shape of a heart.

He clicked the catch on it and it opened, revealing a small pictogram. It was a girl, with raven black hair and dark indigo eyes. Daniel studied it. A small word was on it, strangely, it was his writing.


He spoke the name out loud.

"Is that who you swear by?"

Daniel looked up. Andromeda was staring at him with soft admiration.


He caught himself. The word had fallen out of his mouth so quickly and easily. "Hm, the Oath of Love. A powerful Code of conduct. Very well, I shall grant you the power."

She held up the thing. It was a blue gem, slim and yet it was large enough to hold in your palm.

Daniel took the gem. It glowed and pulsed like a heart. He admired its beauty. Andromeda took it back and asked, "Well, you are a swordsman, correct?" Daniel nodded. She smiled and motioned for him to hold out his right hand. He stuck it out. Andromeda turned his hand. She placed the gem onto the back of Daniels right hand glove and held it there. He felt it on his hand, not believing how warm it was.

Andromeda began to mutter incoherent words and her eyes started to glow greener. The gem became hot. It started to steam and hiss against the leather, then against skin.

Daniel's eyes widened and his teeth clenched together, he squeezed the palm of his left hand while his right hand was burning in pain. In a way, somehow, it was melding with the Gem. He couldn't take it anymore. As the pain built up to a point when the fire became white hot, and cold in a way. He screamed in pain and sorrow and lust.

Maria woke up with a start and sat up from her bed. Her nerves were all on edge and her breath was cut short. A scream pierced through the night and it was so terrifiying.

She looked out of her bedroom window.

What was that? She thought as she came to look out of it.

The landscape of the town was spread before her and she was familiar with it. She could see the Bakery,and the Offices, where she was taken and placed into this… camp of boys and assholes, like that stupid one, Tiberius.

God, She thought as she tapped her fingers on the metal railing that supported her window. He tried to ask her out. Again! After so many times she told him and his cronies "No, I'm already taken and you can't do anything about that so there."

She closed her eyes and inhaled the night breeze to calm her angered state and mind.

Maria leaned out of the window and the wind rustled her nightgown as she relaxed her arms on the metal railing. She looked out across the kingdom, staring into the distance. The scream pierced the night air and Maria fell back a couple of steps. Clouds were forming and the scream was so piercing and loud it was almost deafening. She tried to look at the screamer's location and…

"Oh my god!" She cupped her hands up to her mouth and bit her lip. It was the scream of her Boyfriend, Daniel Wilks.

Otto felt a push as he nodded off on his little perch on the stone staircase of the old Art studio.

"Oi!" He said as he brushed himself off from dust and dirt.

Tiberius and his fellow companions laughed. "Can't do a single job right, huh? And you call yourself a guardsman. You let some thieves in through the front gate! I guess its true, Gingers are stupid!" Artemis and Tim chortled at that. "Yeah, yeah! That's funny boss! That is right down funny, yeah, yeah." Artemis said, while Tim grunted "Fuh-ney. Ha, ha"

Tiberius patted Tim on the back "Tim, your lack of language is amazing, but sometimes it makes sense." He lowered his voice as he pulled his hand away from the girth of Tim "Five percent of the time, anyways"

Tiberius turned back to Otto. "And anyways… Otto…" He continued disgustedly.

" Its nearly Curfew hours. So…" He continued, patting him on the back. "I guess that you'll have to hurry up. I don't think that the Keeper would like a late passenger. Would he, boys?"

The two shook their heads and laughed. They started to advance on Otto, who started to pull out his spear. Tim grabbed his head and held him, while Artemis roughed him up with a couple of punches to the stomach and the chest. Otto clawed at Tim's hand, but he couldn't escape from his death grip. Everything started to get fuzzy, Otto's hands became more desperate as things started to get blacker.

"Well, looks like there will be a late passenger! Shove him, boys, and lets go home"

Otto was pushed into an alleyway and trash barrels clattered to the ground, spewing trash onto him. Dammit. Otto thought as he looked up at the stars, which were peeking up from the clouds. I can't defend myself from those two. Tiberius calls himself a guardsman, but he hides behind those thugs. Damn coward. He laughed at that and settled himself down on the filth.

Well, at least I can get some peace here…. He let the pain overwhelm him as his vision became blurrier and he fell asleep. But his eyes jolted away when he heard a pain filled scream in the air.

The smell of blood and burned flesh caught his nostrils and he coughed at the stench. Otto got up as best as he could and limped towards the sound, trying to get to the screamer to aid him, when he felt a heavy hand on his shoulder.

"Hey, hey! You don't want to go in that direction." Otto looked at the hand, and then to Rodger, who smiled slightly.

" 'Ey." Otto said.

"Hello, now, I say we get out of here. There's a Banshee in these parts." Rodger replied, then he started to jog towards the elevator station, but he called back, "I don't want to tell you again. Follow me, before the Banshee, or the Nightsmen will get us." Otto nodded and followed Rodger to the personal Elevators.

But, he paused and looked back at the noise of the Banshee before running off with Rodger.

Somewhere, some when, in his chambers, the King awoke. His eyes focused from his dark slumber in his bed. He sat up and got out of the four-poster, and cracked his neck of tension. His manservant, Adam, helped him into his robe and tied it.

"Thank you, Adam." Adam nodded and stepped away.

The King stepped onto his balcony and put his hands in the pockets of the thick velvet robe. He closed his eyes and sniffed the wind. Ah… Perfect bliss… Darkness here and no light there. Hm. It's nice to be king. He smiled to himself and turned to get dressed properly.

A cry sounded from the kingdom. The King turned and a pillar of blue-turquoise light shot up from the kingdom, near the church to be precise, and blasted through the cloud shield that he had cast to let a little moonlight in through the clouds.

Now, the moon shined down, bathing the castle and the town in a silver light. The King gritted his teeth, but he can re-cast the spell again. Nothing a little magic can't fix.

The King raised a hand, poised to cover the moon , a bolt of blue energy shot from the pillar and hit his hand. It hurt, a lot more than he expected it to be.

The King held his hand and examined it. A burn was on the skin where the lightning bolt had struck. The King swept his robe and went back to His chambers. "Adam!" he called in his deep, dark voice. The manservant came, "Yes, my lord?" The King took of his morning robe and put on his Grande Cloake. "Call the Chancellor, tell him to summon the Council."

Adam looked taken aback. "The…Council, My lord?" The King gave him a withering look, "Yes, call the Council and tell them that there is something afoot." Adam brushed off the dust on the King's Cloake and nodded.

"Very well, my lord." He walked away, bowed, then opened the door and quietly closed it. The King looked back at the Pillar of light. It had started to fade now, but there was no questioning it.

"Ah, Sarina…" He muttered as he rubbed a purple gem set into his scepter, which was laid on a dark purple velvet pillow, "This isn't good. Not good at all. What shall we do?"

The gem pulsed and flashed. The King heard voices in his head, many voices in a raucous tenor, all of them saying the same thing. He nodded. "Very well." The King watched as the light faded away. "We shall kill the one that bears the ancient power."