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D.T - Volga the Apprentice: Chapter 2

Volga the Apprentice: Chapter 2

For three days and three nights master Finuer remained in the library. Volga heard very little noises coming from the other side of the door, but now and again he would see strange lights emitting from under the doorway, flashing and weaving about. Volga always made sure to leave a tray of food and water by the library door in the morning after he woke up, and at night before he went to bed.

He was glad to find the tray emptied whenever he returned for it; it meant his master was still alive and at least eating and drinking. But only on the fourth day did his master come out of the library with a look on his face that was equal parts frustration and sorrow.

Finuer said nothing to Volga and only muttered curses to himself as he went down the stairs. Volga followed him and asked, "Master did the spell you were concocting work?"

Finuer stopped at the bottom of the stairs and stared blankly at the wall for a second before answering, "Aye it worked. But it was damned bloody pointless, showed me nothing I needed."

"Showed you, what spell were you casting exactly?" Volga inquired.

Finuer went to the small enchanted box that they used to keep their drinks and meats or cheese chilled. Being a magister was nice for common household living.

He pulled out a bottle of wine and popped the top with a bit of magic; then started chugging from it. He finished half the bottle before putting it down on the table. He turned to face Volga and said, "I was looking into the future, trying to find a different outcome for certain events that are coming. But there is only one way this all ends."

"The future? What was in it?" Volga asked eager for an immediate answer.

Finuer pulled out a chair and sat down then said, "Don't you worry about it at all. Future gazing is a dangerous thing many magi went insane from trying to decipher the mysterious of what they saw. It's something best left alone, that's why the council outlawed half the items I had you acquire. On their own some would be practically useless but in combination with the others they give way to a clearer look into the future."

Volga pulled up a chair next to his master, sat down and then asked, "So what did you see anyways?"

Finuer looked up and off into the distance. His eyes came out of focus as if staring off into faraway lands. A purple hue shined over his eyes and he said ominously, "I saw, I saw..."

Volga leaned in closer, eager to hear what his masters fading voice was whispering. Then in a flash Finuer's eyes went back to normal and he turned his attention to Volga and in a loud tone he said, "I saw my apprentice was not fulfilling the wishes of his master!"

Volga leaned back in his chair and scoffed, "Well that was anticlimactic." He said. A moment later the two laughed and Volga prepared their lunch.

For a time, things started going back to normal for Volga and Finuer. Volga was still curious about that tower off in the distance, but Finuer didn't tell him any more about it and so Volga didn't push it. Their mundane yet cozy life returned to normal, until the second full moon after the towers appearance where Volga had the dream about the tower and the promised wish at the top.

Volga woke suddenly from his dream state and gasped for breath; as if it was all taken from his lungs mere seconds ago. He started to shake his head lightly to get out of his dreary state when a voice right next to him inquired, "You had the dream didn't you?"

Volga half jumped out of bed startled that his master was sitting in a chair in his room; staring at him. He sat up in bed scratching at his messy hair and asked, "Master what are you doing in my room?"

"No time for that the dream; tell me everything you can now before it eludes your mind," Finuer said.

"Yes, because some strange dream is going to explain why you're in my room, staring at me while I sleep," Volga said.

"The dream boy, now."

"Fine, fine. I was still in my body far as I could tell but I was no longer here, I was all the way there ta the base of that tower. The intricate demon designed on the door, it's eyes glowing red, they seemed to be looking right through mine, piercing all the way down to my soul." Volga shivered at the end of the last sentence.

"Then the doors opened up," he continued. "And as they did something flashed in front of me, some kinda room with a crystal. After that I saw the last floor of the tower; the very top one. I can't seem to remember any details about it, but then the voice echoed in about the wish promised to the first one reaching that floor, and a warning about the tower inhabitants."

Volga rubbed his forehead in pain. "I'm trying to remember more, but the rest is blurry."

"No, no that's plenty; I got what I needed," Finuer said. "Get dressed, do what you need to do after that and then start cooking breakfast. After breakfast, I will explain everything to you."

After breakfast Volga went to clean the dishes but Finuer said, "Never mind that boy, come with me to the library it's for me to explain things to you."

As Volga followed him up the stairs he asked, "and by explaining things, do you mean your erratic behavior last month and this morning?"

Finuer said nothing until they made it into the library and got to the center table where three ancient looking tombs (nearing the size of Volga's torso) lay neatly across it. They had nothing on the covers and as Finuer opened the center one up, Volga saw in them a writing he had never seen before.

"Can you read any of this?" Finuer asked Volga.

"Not a word of it, in fact, I never saw anything like this before," Volga said.

"Hmmm, I must have never taught you the language of the druid before then," Finuer said casually. "Anyways on the pages of this book is our ancient history and order of the druid, but that's not what's important here." He then closed the book and slid it forward until it fell off the table with a loud thud.

"Wait order of the druids, what?" Volga asked.

"Us, or rather now just me and you; we're all that's left of the Druid order," Finuer answered.

"Druids? Aren't druids supposed to be like great magisters of the lands, able to talk with animals and grow any kind of plant from just a small sample of it? I don't know any of that stuff!

"Bah, that's not what The order of the druids are you idiot. We are the protectors of the land sworn to secrecy until the time comes when we are needed to restore the damage done to it; not some tree hugging magi. But the order has faded away over the many years and now it's just you and I. Alas I'm too old for this and you're too young to restore the damage that will come to these lands; or to restore the order of the druids."

"I'm going to stop you there," Volga interrupted. "You keep saying 'we' but I never heard about any of this before and shouldn't I have gone through some sort of initiation before becoming part of your order?"

"Confounded boy you have no patience," Finuer said agitated. "Alright you know what let's skip the long boring history lesson and I'll give you the short version. That dark tower off in the distance syphons life from the lands turning it into a dingy swamp land for miles around until it's had its fill then disappears again.

"I don't know where it comes from but it always seems to return, and when it does it starts drawing in people with promise of great power; that wish for example. It draws them in and feeds of their collective life force; slowly. Everyone who experiences that dream is infected with the tower's influence and are subconsciously drawn to it, driven by a desire like it's their destiny or something.

"They won't go mad from it even if they never go near the tower so don't worry about it to much. Now then the tower has been here for about two months now which means it's already started sucking the life out of about five miles of land around it. It's not too much yet but it will keep going for god knows how far. But there is a way to stop it, to in fact get rid of the tower for good."

"Alright go on," Volga said.

"From the outside the tower is indestructible, but from the inside it has one major weakness; the source of all its power: the Raydox crystal. It's the heart of the tower itself and the thing responsible for sucking out the life out this land; and it can be destroyed."

"Let me guess, doing so comes at a great and terrible cost or something?" Volga interjected.

Finuer shrugged his shoulders and said, "I don't know."

Volga raised an eyebrow, "You, you don't know, then how do you know all this?"

"From the chronicle of the druid who went in search of a way to destroy the tower the last time it was here. He found a way to do so: the Raydox crystal. But by the time he found the crystal it was too late and he didn't have the raw power to destroy it back then, so he made a journal. He even mapped out the path to get to it."

"Alright so what's all this got to do with me?"

"Everything I'm afraid," Fineur said solemn. "You may not be an official druid but you’re the only apprentice I got and I'm too old to embark on this quest." He placed a hand on Volga's shoulder and said, "Volga, I need you to do this, not for me, or you but for this whole world. No matter what it takes the tower must be destroyed this time."

"Why me though, why not take this to the council?" Volga asked; a slight edge of fear in his voice.

Finuer pulled out one of the chairs from the table and sat down, "Because the council only act if there is a direct threat or problem to or within Dorgal. They don't care about the outside world; hell those greedy bastards would probably try and climb the tower themselves just for that wish."

Volga pulled out the other chair and sat in it and asked, "So you do believe there is a wish to be gained at the top?"

Finuer thought it over for a minute then said, "Yes I believe there is, but anything gained from that tower won't come without a heavy price; of that I'm certain. Anyways as I said you must do this, but you cannot do it alone."

"Well if you won't join me, and I cannot get the council to help, then how am I supposed to do it?"

"You have to travel around and search for strong warriors, or magisters; good people you can trust. Tell them that you know where the real wish is at. Tell them the only way to get it is to shatter the Raydox crystal and put their hand on the orb hidden inside and make their wish; I don't know make up something believable."

"So you want me to find good, yet strong people to accompany me to the tower, and find this mysterious crystal and destroy it?" Volga said trying to explain to himself what his master was saying. "And in order to get them to join me I should lie to them about how that's the only way for them to receive the wish they desire?"

Finuer shrugged and said, "Yea pretty much."

Volga sighed and said, "Alright let's say I manage to assemble this team on that lie, then what? I don't have any idea where the Raydox crystal is."

"Oh yes that!" Finuer said snapping to attention. He grabbed on of the other two tombs still on the table and skimmed through it until he said, "nope not this one." Then he closed it and slid it off the table like the other one before. He then grabbed the final tomb and flipped through the pages until finding what he was looking for.

He pulled out a thick, gold lined paper that looked like a very detailed map and had small writing covering the entire other side of it. "This here is the map I managed to translate and recreate into a more portable version for your journey," Finuer said holding the map out for Volga to take. When Volga took it Finuer continued, "It shows you the layout of specific floors inside the tower and details on the back of how to follow it to the Raydox crystal."

Volga spent a few minutes in silence looking over the map then said, "According to this the crystal is in the basement?"

"Yes so it seems," Finuer concurred.

"I would have expected it to be at the top, not underground."

"Probably why the druid who found it took so long too, she expected much the same thing. Volga, tell me that no matter what you will find a way to destroy that crystal."

Volga was about to say he would try his best but when he looked up and saw the serious look on his masters face, the desperation in it he said, "Yes, I will do whatever it takes to destroy that crystal."

Finuer smiled solemn and said, "You're a good lad, I will leave you behind everything I can to aid you in this quest."

"Leave behind, what do you mean by that?"

Finuer didn't answer him and instead stood up and started walking away. Volga followed after him, "master Finuer?"

Finuer stopped when they got downstairs and turned to face Volga then said, "Volga, I have been alive for a very, very long time. I've been using magic to keep myself alive to continue the order of the Druid, try and restore it even a little bit. But I failed in this, sure I had other apprentices but some died others just didn't believe in our ideals and went on their own.

"I never intended for another apprentice but your grandmother, a former apprentice of mine, gave you to me when you were three years old. your parents were dead, and your grandparents were soon following them into the grave when you were dropped off here. You had nowhere else to go so I decided what's a few more years of life. I was planning to raise you up to find your own way and would have left you everything when you were sixteen.

"However the tower has appeared at last and I have no one I can ask to handle it besides you. But I'm afraid I cannot stay any longer to guide you any further. My magic is all used up now, what little reserves I had left were used up in that foresight spell I cast; too bad it was in vain."

Volga struggled to hold back the tears and asked, "Where will you go then?"

"I picked out a nice little spot for my grave a few hundred years or so back, a quiet little place where I can rest at last. I'm so sorry to put all this heavy burden on you; but so grateful you accepted it."

Volga wiped the few tears leaking form his eyes and asked, "What choice did I have though?"

Finuer grinned and said, "As little choice as me." Then he pulled Volga into a long embracing hug. When his apprentice finally got the strength to let go he turned and walked out the door shutting it behind him.

Volga immediate raced after his master to say 'goodbye' but as he opened the door Finuer was gone; not a trace of him around.

Volga spent the next several days since his master passed away just sulking around the house. He did little more than eat and sleep in those days, still trying to come to terms with his masters death. He wanted to set out on the quest but his heart just wasn't in it yet, he just needed some time; and alcohol.

In the enchanted wooden rectangular box Volga got the last of the wine and started chugging it down until it was gone. He got a minor buzz and for a time his pain was numb. But the next day it came back and he was out of wine. His master left him behind a chest full of gold coins; apparently Finuer was extremely rich. It made sense now why he never had to work and how he could afford anything, though why he didn't hire a maid to clean the house and a chef to cook their meals was beyond him.

Volga took two gold coins from the chest and went searched out the nearest wine merchant at the market. He found one but had a change of heart when he saw a group of people, not much older than himself, walk into a nearby tavern. He decided then maybe the crowd would cheer him up more than the wine.

Inside the tavern he found a small empty table and ordered random drinks he never before heard of. None of them tasted good to him but he drank them anyways for the more he drank the less he could feel. Before long Volga drank so much he blacked out; waking up an unknown time later when the tavern was full of patrons.

His head was throbbing and he felt a little dizzy; and ready to puke any minute. He got up from his seat and went for the front door but a group of people came in from there, blocking his way and repelling him with all their loud talking. Volga then turned and headed for the back exit leading out into the ally.

The back door swung wide open as he stumbled out bumped into some stranger and fell it his knees. Unable to hold in the contents of his stomach any longer he lowered his head further and puked all over the once fancy pair of shoes that were in front of him.

He wiped his mouth with his sleeve and started to get up and say, "Sorry." When a burly fist slammed into his left cheek and hurled him to the ground on his side. The strike broke him from his half drunken daze and he got a good look at the scene around him.

In the back alley it was relatively dark but five men were around two of them holding the arms of a very pretty young woman: restraining her. Volga slowly shook off his daze, listening in to the men talking to figure out the story at hand. "Leave him be we can deal with him after her," one of them said.

"Alright yeah, let's focus on the bitch at hand," another of the men said. "Alright then, Kyra; where were we?"

"You and half your guys here were about to drop your pants and start sucking each other off," the woman said audaciously.

The man speaking to her directly twisted sideways delivering a swift and powerful punch to her stomach. She heaved over, the breath being knocked from her lungs, as the only thing keeping her up were the two men holding her.

"You know you shouldn't let me get in the way of your dick-fest boy's," the woman, Kyra, said.

The man who hit her then delivered a backslap to her face. The other two men then pushed her down on her knees and by that time Volga decided he'd seen enough. He got to his feet and commanded, "Let her go."

The men turned their attentions to Volga for a moment then started to laugh; until he shot out a small streak of lightning that split into three bolts and zapped all but the two men restraining Kyra. They fell to the ground paralyzed. The other two men then let go of Kyra and charged after Volga.

Volga thrust out his palm as the first man got close enough, and making contact with his chest he shocked him too. The second man was slower to reach Volga but had pulled out a knife and got a good swing at him and sliced across his left shoulder. The cut delivered a stinging sensation like Volga had never felt before and blood oozed from the wound, staining his purple robe.

The man made a jab at Volga but he managed to avoid it and kept backing away. The two kept up their little game, where the man would slash or jab at Volga with the knife and he would barley dodge it. Both of them were scarred of the other so they did nothing reckless or anything more really.

Before long Volga stepped back to a wall and the man thinking he had him went for the kill: jabbing the knife at Volga's throat. Before the blade reached Volga though the man suddenly jerked sideways and collapsed. Standing right behind him was Kyra with a good sized rock; she must have bashed him in the back of the head, Volga thought.

Kyra dropped the rock by her side and said, "Well that got tiring to watch, you know you kinda really suck at fighting."

"You know I kinda saved your life back there." Volga responded.

Kyra shrugged and said, "I could have taken them."

"Then why didn't you?"

"Well as I was about to make my move some purple robed drunk stumbled out into the alley and then proceeded to hilariously puke all over the bosses shoes."

Volga blushed and turned his head away. Too embarrassed to be around the pretty woman any more he started walking out of the alley. Kyra followed him and said, "Hey come on it was all in good fun, at least let me buy you a drink to say thanks."

"I would love nothing more, truly. But if you have not noticed my shoulder has been sliced up, and it hurts really fricking bad so I would like to go home, clean and patch it up."

"I can do that." Kyra said.

Volga stopped and looked at Kyra. In the light of the street he could see she was much prettier then he first thought, with flaming red hair, soft smooth skin and amber eyes. "Why are you so eager to help me?"

Kyra shrugged and tilted her head to the side and said, "Well I do owe you for your help back there, and I guess it is kind of my fault you got that injury in the first place. Besides patching up a shoulder wound on your own is very, very difficult."

Volga smiled shyly and said, "Alright sure, let's uh go back to my place though."

Kyra nodded and Volga led her back to his house. After they got inside Volga found some clean hand towel's he could use to cover the wound and stop himself from bleeding even more. "Alright so where is your medicine kit?" Kyra asked looking around.

"Actually we... I don't have one here," Volga admitted. He then went into his pockets and pulled out a couple silver coins, handed them to Kyra and said, "Here go out and get what supplies you will need, this should be more than enough to cover you."

Kyra stared at the silver coins in her hand, silent in her own thoughts then looked back to Volga and said, "Alright that's fine, but it's going to take me a while to get them so sit there and don't move too much until I return okay?"

"I shall remain right here," Volga said. Then Kyra left the house in a hurry, soon as the door shut Volga got up and climbed the stairs heading for the library. Not expecting her to return he searched out any books on healing magic. When he found a couple he carefully pulled them off the shelf one at a time and placed them on the center table.

Taking a seat he grimaced in pain from his shoulder wound then looked over to the tower map lying flat on the far end of the table. He sighed and said to himself, "I'm sorry master Finuer but I can't even save one person let alone the whole world. I know I promised I would try but, I'm no savior or hero; I'm just a bad apprentice who can't even live up to his masters expectations."

Volga then blew the tower map off the table and out of his sights. Trying to get that stupid tower and his master out of his mind.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © © Jake Pendragon all rights reserved 2015

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