Gregor sighed. His mother had thought a New York vacation for the summer would get him out of his five year depression, but it could only make things worse. It always made things worse. Luxa, who he had fallen in love with in the Underland, turned sixteen next week. He had always counted the days. He always, always remembered. He always cried…
"Mom, stop here. I want to go to Central Park," he said. His mother's mouth dropped wide open. But she stopped, understanding slightly. She let him out, and drove off.
He walked through the hot, stuffy streets. He finally saw Central Park in the distance, and ran. He didn't care about the burning feeling in his gut; he just ran. He ran past the edges of the park. He ran to the spot where the entrance was. But he didn't have time to do anything else, as something hit him on the head, and knocked him unconscious.
When Gregor woke, he found himself dragged through the tunnels that he thought he'd never have to visit again. But that's not what scared him the most. What scared him most was what was dragging him; the rats, he thought. Two of them.
They sensed his movement and turned around. "He's awake," said the first. "So? Just means we should drag him faster. Maybe his head will hit a stone and he'll go unconscious again," Replied the second. "That sounds like a good idea; those humans were on our tail pretty good before. Never know if they'll catch up again," said the first rat. "An' 'sides, I like the sound of a human skull hitting stone. Just like most others did back in the day." He finished. "Yeah, 'guess yer right. And we needn't worry 'bout those humans; killed half and left the others ta be scared of us comin' back," replied the second.
They kept dragging him through the dark tunnels. Gregor got sore, and wondered if being knocked unconscious would be so bad. But he didn't have any more time to worry; the humans had arrived. One stuck a sword into the first rat, while another bore a large battleaxe and brought it down on the other's head with a disturbing CRUNCH.
"There is no time, Overlander," said the human with a sword, who he recognized as Mareth. "Mareth?" he said. "How'd you know the rats had me?" he asked. "How'd you even know I was here?" he urgently questioned. "No time, Gregor. We must RUN. The rats came dangerously near those they were taking you to," he replied, and pulled Gregor back the other way.
They ran for several hours before finally seeing Regalia. Mareth didn't stop, but ushered him down and past the field, into the city. Then up, up, up the steps, into the palace. The gates closed quickly behind him. He was pushed to the Hall of Stories. "What's going on?" Gregor finally said. "Now I shall let Vikus explain," said Mareth finally, and pushed him into the hall.
"Gregor! How wonderful to see you again!" said the old man known as Vikus. "You are sixteen now, am I correct?" he finished. "Yeah, but I wish I was still thirteen, when I still had prophecies to fulfill," replied Gregor. "Oh, but you do, O Guardian, many, in fact. But we have come here today to discuss only one," replied the wise old man. That last bit disturbed Gregor. Guardian. He always went by 'Warrior' in the Underland. Vikus, as if sensing his wonderment, said "I call you 'Guardian' because of your next prophecy. The Prophecy of Kings."
Gregor thought slowly for a moment. He wondered how 'King' could ever be associated to him. "Come now, Gregor. You must read the prophecy," Vikus said, leading him into the hall. They walked past the previous prophecies and to an extremely dark area. Vikus reached into the shadow, and twisted his arm. A door opened into a large, bright room. "How long have you known of this?" asked Gregor. "Years before you came," Vikus replied. "Here we are!" said Vikus enthusiastically as he lead Gregor over to a familiar wall-carving.
Bane of the Bane
Prince of Crawlers
Savior of Regalia
Trained by Gnawers
O Warrior of Secret
Time, Blood and Gray
Won't you bring us back to Day?
Stain your sword with blood once more
Save Regalia from endless Gore.
Fight the Bringer
Of all man's end
Avoid a wound that Time can't mend.
Save your love
From her despair
Let a queen's wounds soon repair.
You must slay
To bring the humans back to day.
Become the Guardian
Take up Blade
Destroy the evil
Come to our aid
Gregor stared. He had to kill a flying hisser or something. Whatever that was. "The part that disturbs me most is the Flying Hisser. A dragon, Gregor." Said Vikus.
Gregor's breath left him. "A dragon?"