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D.T - Prince Rugal: Chapter 3

The final chapter of the prince's tale.

Prince Rugal: Chapter 3

Ignoring the fact they were running through a small ocean of blood, which was now up to their ankles, Iris asked, "What are we going to do? Thrain is clearly too powerful for us to stop."

"We have to do something," Rugal said frantically. "He betrayed us and can't get that wish; if he does, we lose our chance of getting our home and families back."

As they reached the steps, a golden light shined down from above and poured into the temple. Running up the stairs fast as he could Rugal pulled his blade. He could hear a loud voice almost booming from within the temple, it spoke slow and carried a heavy weight to it.

"Your wish," the voice lingered on in grand performance. "Is," Rugal had made it into the temple by the time the final words were spoken.

"Denied."

In the center of this immense temple, Thrain stood basking in the golden light shining from above. Hearing the godly voice deny his wish he fell to his knees speaking quietly to himself.

Everyone stopped several steps inside the temple and looked around to each other to see if the others heard what they did. Before they could ask what was going on, a dark humanoid creature with bat-like wings descended slowly from above the temple where the light was pouring down in.

It looked to be a man wearing dark blue and purple leather in a peculiar fashion only covering his waist and lower abdomen. Whatever he or it was, it was a sight to behold when it landed gently in front of Thrain.

Standing nearly ten feet in height, his skin was dark as black ink with a deep red hue overlaying it. His piercing eyes were dark and yellow, and his hands had talons for fingers, and all reached the same length. When he smiled lightly and opened his mouth to speak a row of sharp teeth like canines filled his mouth and his tongue was like a serpent.

"Welcome, welcome to my temple." The demonic deity-like creature spoke. Though his voice sounded human when he spoke, there was a subtle shift in the air. It was like quiet little whispers carried on the back of his tongue drifted freely when he spoke.

"I don't understand, what's going on here and who are you?" Rugal asked.

"I do have much more time to kill so I suppose I shall explain things to you, as a reward for making it this far at least. You see the simple truth is that there is no wish here, well not anymore. Once there was a wish, granted by a god older than myself, for reaching the top of this tower.

"Oh and what a cruel god indeed, what was conceived first as a blessing, turned into a curse. I spent so many years climbing this tower to get that wish, but when I finally made it here and had my wish granted, I was forever changed by this dark power. But that's an ancient story and not what you're interested in.

"To put it simply. For me to keep this power I have, and my immortality, I had to raise the tower every so often and let it syphon the magic and life from one land to another. Of course, I would raise it in another land each time so that the ones before it could recover. But then I soon realized why just wait for it to syphon from the land when I can draw in the beings from around so it can consume them as well.

"But for some reason the tower wouldn't consume the creatures inside of it, not unless they met certain conditions."

"I still don't understand," Veera said. "If the tower won't consume us then why bring us here at all?"

The strange demon smiled wryly causing Veera to regret her question.

"There are other ways to consume things, such as madness." He then gestured to Thrain, who was still on his knees with his head hung low. "Besides drawing you in is an amusing way of clearing out the infestation the tower sometimes accumulates. Those 'demons' as I hear your kind call them."

"If there was no wish then what the hell is the point of any of this?" Rugal asked frustrated. "And don't give me that crap about us coming here to amuse you or to clear out the demons in here; there's something you aren't telling us. You've been dancing around this whole time so spill it."

The demon's cruel smile returned for a moment, and he said, "You're a bold one to be making demands of me, but you're not as stupid as I thought. I am telling the truth about the tower needing to syphon the life from around it, but the real reason you're summoned here is because every god requires sacrifices."

The demon then turned away and spread his wings. Flapping them in steady beats, he began to rise up and out of the temple. As he left, the temple suddenly shook violently, and a mix of purple, green, and blue colors swirled around on the floor in an intricate pattern.

The demon then suddenly crashed back down in the temple snarling with rage. "No, no no no!" He roared violently. "The crystal, it's been destroyed; how?" He then turned to glare at Rugal and the others. "You, you were sent here to distract me."

The demon then roared in anger and Veera wasted no time in hitting it hard with everything she had. A blitz of screeching flames burst from her hands and knocked the demon back to the far wall of the temple. She then turned to Iris and shouted, "Iris get the prince out of here I'll hold him off as long as I can."

Veera then charged at the demon hitting it wave after wave of flames, trying to keep it down and buy Iris time. But the demon proved too strong and easily rose back up and swatted her away like a fly. Rugal went to aid her, no longer willing to let others sacrifice themselves for him, but Garren tackled him preemptively to stop him.

The demon came after them slowly; not in any immediate rush. "The crystal may be gone but before I die, I will have you as my last sacrifice!" It said enraged.

It got one step closer to them before a cobalt blue sword pierced through its left wing. The demon spun around and grabbed the man who stabbed him. Lifting Thrain up before him, the demon bared his teeth and growled.

Thrain, with his arms pinned to his sides in the demon's grasp, didn't bother struggling. Instead, he said something so quietly that even the demon strained to hear him. The demon whispered back to Thrain and then tossed him at his feet and jabbed his talon-like fingers through Thrain.

With his final breath, the knight choked one last word, "Jesebelle..."

As the demon turned back to them, Rugal had wrestled out of Garren's grip, that was holding him back, and got to his feet pulling his blade. Iris suddenly grabbed Rugal and Garren by their arms as the demon lunged at them with a swipe of his hands. The last thing Rugal felt before the sudden sensation of his body being twisted and warped was the bitter sting tearing at half his face.

The next thing Rugal knew he was outside with his feet planted firmly on the grass. Ignoring the huge gash on the left of his face, Rugal looked around and found Garren outside with him and Iris lying unconscious just behind them. He ran to her to see if she was alright.

"She did it," Garren said amazed. "Iris managed to get us out of there."

"Yea but she's not moving now," Rugal said fearfully.

Garren turned to Rugal and Iris on the ground and asked, "Is she breathing?"

"Barely, we need to get her to a healer right away, where the hell are we?" Rugal asked already picking Iris up and cradling her in his arms.

Garren doubled a quick look around them and spotted the Tower far off in the distance to the north of the Drogav Mountains. "We must be just on the outskirts of Dorgal," he said.

Rugal looked around too and saw he was right. "You're right that's exactly where we are, dammit Iris why did you have to push yourself so hard." He then took off in a jogging pace heading northwest. "Come on," he shouted, "the nearest town is about six leagues away."

Garren jogged after him, and the two kept going until they couldn't run anymore. Even stuck with walking, Rugal kept a brisk pace. As luck would have it after just a couple more hours of walking, they spotted a mounted patrol unit not too far off. Garren shouted for them and waved his hands in the air to grab their attention.

It worked, as they turned to them and raced their horses that way. When the patrol caught up with them, the captain eyed them thoroughly and noticed their sword belts and Rugal's gash wound. "What happened to you three, and where do you hail from?" The captain, a stern looking woman, asked.

Thinking fast, Rugal said, "We're refugee's fleeing from Evercain. On the way here we were attacked by bandits. And my betrothed here, well I don't know what it is but their magister did something to her."

The captain didn't fully take his story and turned to Garren to ask, "Is this true?"

"Yes, it is," Garren said going along with the lie. "They got the drop on us and gave my brother there that nasty wound on his cheek. Please, you have to help us."

The captain took another look at them and saw the genuine concern Rugal had for Iris, she decided to help them. "Alright relinquish your weapons to my men and we will take you to town to find a healer. Hand the girl to me so I can carry her."

Rugal was reluctant to let Iris out of his care, but he was desperate, so he handed her over to the captain who gently seated her on the horse in front of her. The other three men came over to take Rugal and Garren's swords, which they gave up with a bit of caution.

The two then separately hopped on one of the patrol men's horses to ride along with them, when the loud rumbling suddenly burst off in the distance.

Off towards the tower, where the rumbling noise came from they could see, (even as far they were away) massive dark chunks falling out of the sky from the tower. It slowly fell apart as everyone watched it begin to fall. Like an enormous tree being uprooted the tower came crashing down to the ground landing in the red touched lands.

When it hit down the sound of exploding thunder seemed to carry throughout the whole world making their ears pop. The ground trembled like never before, and the horses whined and reared up on their hind legs; nearly causing everyone to fall off. While it may have risen in absolute silence, the tower fell in a grand spectacle that no one could claim ignorance.

After calming the horses down, they rode out to the town.

Arriving in the town they found everyone was outside, looking off into the distance to where the tower fell; literally everyone around was talking about it. The captain led Rugal and Garren to the small medical house where she gently placed Iris down on the bed. She then left to find the healer and had her men watch Rugal and Garren.

Rugal pulled up one of the chairs and sat down next to Iris, gently brushing the hair out of her face, he kept his eyes fixed on her.

When the captain returned, she brought with her and elder woman who was garbed in a simple white tunic that fit her well. The healer gently ran her hands over Iris' body checking for wounds both physical and magical. After she had concluded she said to them, "This young lady has over exerted herself in a very strange way."

"What do you mean?" Rugal asked concerned.

"What I mean is that she tapped into a power not fully known to her, for reasons I don't know, and, as a result, she has become comatose. By all accounts, she should be dead due to heart failure but I sense some sort of magic keeping her alive. There is nothing I can do for her."

"But she will be okay right? I mean she will wake up eventually?" Rugal asked anxiously.

The healer sighed and said "I'm afraid only time will tell. Her condition is far out of my depth or any known healer in this day and age."

"Wait, Maris," the captain said, "Is there any way that this was the work of someone else; perhaps another powerful Magister?"

The healer, Maris, shook her head and said, "No this was without a doubt the girl's own doing. Why or what she did may be something only these two can tell you."

The captain pulled her falchion style blade and pointed the tip against Rugal's neck. "I think, now is a good time for the truth," she said.

Rugal glared at her for a long moment in silence. Then said with an authoritative voice, "My name is Rugal Evercain, prince of the great Evercain Kingdom, and in the line of succession to be the forty-fifth, king. My friend with me is Garren Lockheart, and the girl, my betrothed, is Iris Zorfin."

The captain lowered her blade a little but didn't drop her guard even in the slightest as Rugal continued.

"Up until just hours ago we were inside the Devil Tower on the very top floor. When we got there, we discovered the wish was a sham and were attacked by a very powerful demon. Iris managed to teleport us out of there as the tower began to fall apart."

The captain was still deciding if she believed this tale when Maris said, "That would at least explain how the girl fell into this state. Given how high the tower reaches teleporting out of there from the top to the base alone would kill any ordinary magister."

Cautiously the captain sheathed her blade. "If you really are who you claim," she said, "then I am sorry for all your losses."

"So is it true then, has Evercain really been conquered by Kantor?"

The captain had deeply saddened look on her face thinking about it. "What wasn't devastated from the tower leeching the life from the kingdom was indeed attacked by Kantor troops. But the tower didn't just leech the life away from Evercain; it spread out into Kantor as well.

"From what I hear Evercain was ultimately decimated and Kantor is in ruins as well. Well over half of Grimnar has suffered immensely since the arrival of that cursed tower."

Rugal turned away and sat on the bed next to Iris. Maris came over to him to heal his wound best she could.

The captain eventually returned Rugal and Garren's swords to them when she saw they wouldn't be any trouble to anyone there. She then moved on back to her duties and Garren stayed in the town to look after Rugal for a few days.

Soon came the time for Garren to move on, though as he asked Rugal what he would do now.

"I'm going to stay here in town by her side as much as I can be until she wakes up," Rugal said. "And what about you my friend?"

"I am going off to find out what happened to our friends. And when I finish, I will return here for you and Iris, and together we shall go home and restore our once great kingdom."

Rugal rose to his feet and stretched his legs. Facing Garren, he said solemnly, "Evercain is no more."

"So long as its people live then our kingdom shall continue. And with its prince," he paused to correct himself. "With its king still alive, there is some glimmer of hope for it. Either way I will be returning for the both of you one day."

For the first time in a while Rugal smiled. The two then hugged, and Rugal said, "I look forward to that day, Sir Garren."

"Aye my king, it's going to be one fine day too."

They broke the hug and then Garren walked away. And though the road ahead of him would be long and grueling, he was not a man to ever forsake his vows.

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Copyright © © Jake Pendragon all rights reserved 2015

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