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Lowenna part 28 (Chapter 33)

Lowenna part 28 (Chapter 33)

The group is heading back to Penbirth, children safe but is there one more challenge ahead?


Marchel woke everyone, with a shout. The sun was just starting to rise, and the horses were all ready to go. Lowenna hadn’t re-entered dream-scape, which was good, as finally she had got a few hours of sleep. Her neck was a little stiff, but a good stretch removed any other pains. Lowenna grabbed her last water pouch, she was thirsty but there wasn’t much left. She drank the last of her water, before joining the others.

Grilk looked a little rough, there was some grey stubble visible on his chin, and he was standing by his large horse trying to calm little Luna down. The other former prisoners were all standing together, but not one of them looked well rested. Marchel was already talking to Ryna and Rique, so Lowenna decided to join them.

Rique was looking at her new ring, it was flashing and sparking as she was talking to Marchel. “So keeping my emotions in check and try to be thinking about helping or saving someone when I’m using the magic,” she said.

“Sort of. You need emotions to use the magic, but positive ones are better than negative ones, I need to save my friends, is a better thought than I want to kill you. Keeping your emotions in check will stop the ring showing magic when you don’t want it to,” he pointed at the ring, which was still sparking.”

Rique looked at her ring after a few moments the sparks and glow faded until it looked like a normal ring. “I did it,” Rique excitedly stated, making the ring erupt with sparks again. Lowenna and Ryna both laughed, but Marchel shook his head.

“Practise, when we get back, I will personally train both of you, in basic magical combat.” he said.

Ryna just stood there his mouth open, did Marchel just say he would train him as well. Rique looked a little confused “My brother doesn’t have any magic,” she stated.

“You’re a natural, and I’m sure he will be as well. The few stories I know about Mavens, all say they used magic, much like the Lowenna. So it would definitely be worth my time training you both. Maybe you both could become lawmen,” Marchel said with a nod. Rique looked sceptical, but Ryna seemed very excited by the idea. “We would have a lot of work ahead of us and it wouldn't be easy, so I leave it up to you, but some general training wouldn’t hurt either of you.” Marchel turned and looked at Lowenna, “How about you, ever thought about becoming a lawman, or law woman should I say?”

Lowenna hadn’t had time to think about a job since she had awoken on the shore and she doubted the lawmen would except a Lowenna into their ranks. “To be honest, I don’t remember much of my past,” she said reminding herself she hadn’t told Marchel about the amnesia, “but a lawman seems a worthy profession.”

Marchel laughed, “if you don’t mind taking the oath, and following the letter of the law. Or fighting dangerous criminals and monsters and following orders, some of which you won’t like, but you still have to follow." Marchel paused for a moment. Lowenna thought he was doing a pretty good job of trying talking Rique and Ryna out of being lawmen. “It can be a little lonely at times," Marchel continued, "but you do make a difference. That’s why I joined, and I hope I have made a difference for the better. Meeting all three of you, Kia,” Marchel looked over at Grilk, who now had Luna sitting on his shoulder, “and even Grilk has been one of the best experiences of my long life.” 

There was a pause as both Rique and Ryna took in what had been said, Marchel looked over at Lowenna again “We better get going if we are to reach the river this sun.”

“Yes we better go, Rique, Ryna would you be up to leading the party, till we get to the pass?” Lowenna asked.

Ryna nodded and went to mount his horse, but Rique didn’t move she looked again at her ring, which let off a low glow. “The price I had to pay for this was my father, I will never see magic as a gift,” resolve spread across her face, “I will learn to control this to honour him.”

Marchel nodded to acknowledge the statement, before turning and heading to the horses, Lowenna walked up to her “I miss him too,” she said trying to comfort her.

“He really liked you Wenna," Rique spoke quietly, not wanting everyone to hear. "He said you gave him the courage to stand up to Krakett and Marchel and no matter what happened, he was glad he chose to ride with you. He said that he would never hide away from the world again. I haven't seen him so alive since my mother died.” A tear rolled down her face, and Lowenna hugged her friend. “Don’t be sad Wenna, we will both honour his memory, and we did rescue the prisoners, five families will have their children home, when we get back to Penbirth.”

“But what about you? You and Ryna, you must hate me for this trip, and encouraging your dad to come, you have lost so much.”

“I can’t hate you Wenna, you’re my best friend, and my dad was right it’s better to have lived, than hide from the world. He forgot that for a while but you reminded him how to be alive,” Rique replied, as she hugged Lowenna holding her tightly.

“Are you two coming?” Marchel suddenly shouted. The two friends glanced over to see everyone else was ready to go. Quickly they grabbed their bags, mounted their horses and headed out after the others.

They had to ride for longer than Lowenna expected as they weren't as close to the pass as she had hoped. Fortunately, it was cloudy and slightly breezy, so no one was feeling too hot and the horses were coping with the ride well. The party eventually came to the hill where Benwa had been waiting for them and Marchel dismounted, “We got to walk the next bit,” he shouted to the group. Everyone got off their horses and tied them together again, Luna was still laughing and clapping, sitting on Grilk’s shoulder, as the party climbed the steep hill.

There were still dead bodies scattered around the clearing. Animals had obviously helped themselves and there were a few flys and other insects. Grilk had covered Luna’s eyes and everyone was quiet, ignoring the fact that the dead bodies were there. Suddenly the silence was broken by a loud noise that made everyone jump, which was followed by an echoing voice “So this is what’s left of the warriors who destroyed my entire army.” The voice echoed around. Marchel drew his sword and all of the children suddenly looked terrified, even Luna went very quiet.

“There,” Ryna suddenly shouted, pointing at the top of one of the cliffs. There were two men standing at the top. Suddenly they both vanished and reappeared on a ledge half way down.

“Rique, Ryna get the children out of here,” Lowenna said not taking her eyes of the two men, as she drew her dagger, Grilk also drew his sword. Rique was about to protest, but Marchel threw her a look that made her suddenly want to go.

“Now!” Grilk shouted, as he passed Luna to Eryn with one hand while keeping his eyes on the two figures, which were now before him. Rique and Finn grabbed the horses, and all the children started running for the end of the clearing. Grilk roared as loud as he could, trying to keep the two men’s attention on the remaining party of three.

“Let them go for now Dumar, kill these three first,” Zarkar said, then laughed as Dumar vanished.

Dumar appeared in front of Lowenna, “Back to back, she shouted, but Dumar vanished again appearing beside Grilk scraping his long dagger along Grilk's shield. He was vanishing before Grilk had a chance to swing his sword. Dumar then appeared in front of Lowenna thrusting his dagger at her, she blocked it with her arm-guard, but again he vanished when she tried to hit him back.

“It’s not that easy is it,” Dumar shouted, well out of range of their weapons, but lightning suddenly exploded from Marchel’s Gauntlet. Dumar disappeared again just before it hit him. Lowenna touched her crystal summoning the fire and she launched it at Dumar as soon as he appeared, but again he disappeared before the fire hit him and reappeared right beside her. He cut Lowenna’s arm with his dagger, forcing her to cry out in surprise and pain before he disappeared again. He was playing with them, having fun, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

Marchel had had enough of Dumar. He wanted to kill Zarkar. He launched himself high into the air towards him, firing his lightning again but Zarkar wrapped his arms around himself, and his cape wrapped itself around him, defending him from the magical attack.

Dumar suddenly appeared behind Marchel, who twisted in the air trying stop Dumar’s attack. Dumar vanished, and Marchel suddenly realised he was facing the wrong way, he tried to turn again, but Zarkar had pushed his hand towards the lawman, and shards of darkness flew towards him. Marchel managed to block most with his sword, but one went straight trough his shoulder.

Marchel growled in pain, as he tried to stop more shards with his sword, but his arm felt like lead. All of a sudden Dumar appeared behind Marchel wrapping his arm around Marchel’s neck, and both of them vanished and a moment later Marchel crashed to the ground, beside Grilk and Lowenna, not moving.

Zarkar laughed, he knew Dumar would kill them, and then he would get his sacrifice. Zarkar would return to his master with the prize and his master would reward him for all of his work, no matter what the cost.

Lowenna went to check on Marchel, but Dumar appeared right in front of her. He slashed his dagger at her face, as she jumped back the blade just scratching her cheek, drawing blood. He vanished again as Lowenna touched both of her hands to her crystal she had only planned to summon fire, but suddenly her eyes glowed pink, everything had a pink outline and fire danced in her hands.

Lowenna looked around quickly. She saw Dumar vanish as Grilk swung his sword, but then she saw thin pink lines shoot across the clearing. Lowenna launched fire where the lines stopped, and the fire hit Dumar at the moment he appeared, forcing his body to fly backwards into the cliff wall. He crashed down hard and lay as still as Marchel.

Zarkar screamed in rage. He could not believe his eyes. The young woman had bested Dumar. He had not expected that. His face showed real anger and frustration, and now Lowenna clearly could see the man from her dream, the twisted hate etched on his face, his tattoos glowing.

Suddenly some sort of long tendril grabbed her foot, taking her off the ground suspending her in the air. More tendrils followed started wrapping around her limbs and one round her neck and it started to squeeze. The tendrils, which were part of Zarkar's cape, lifted her up high, so she was out of Grilk’s reach.

Lowenna remembered this from her dream and she remembered what to do. She jabbed her crystal into one of the tendrils, and it shrivelled away, but two more wrapped around her arm stopping her from doing it again. She tried to cut them with her dagger, but it didn’t work, this was different. She couldn’t free herself and she couldn’t breathe. Panic started overwhelming her. A voice suddenly echoed in her head "You need it now!"

Suddenly Lowenna was calm and knew exactly what to do. She swung her free arm smacking the white crystal against her forehead activating the shield, with a little pain. The white beams cut through the magical bands easy freeing her quickly, but she was off balance and too high up and she landed awkwardly on her side, her arm with the shield and her knee taking the impact of the fall.

Zarkar screamed in anger again and thrust his hand in her direction as several black shards flew towards her. Lowenna's arm was stunned, and her leg was in pain. She couldn't raise the shield in time, nor could she move. Suddenly Grilk stood between Zarkar and Lowenna his arms spread wide, he smiled at her just before the shards struck his back, “No!” Lowenna shouted as he fell to his knees.

“It all right,” Grilk said, “me save you Wenna.” Grilk fell forward, closing his eyes landing face down in the dirt.

Lowenna slowly got to her feet, looking at Zarkar. He was now on the same level as her, and his tattoos were still glowing.

The feeling was returning to her arm, and although her knee stung, her leg could support her. She was hurt but, she was determined, that wasn’t going to stop her. Two of her friends had fallen because of this man. All the pain, and death he had left in his wake. Kia, Reath, Vorn, not to mention all those people in Penbirth. Lowenna clenched her fist. She knew this monster had to die, and she was going to kill him or die trying.

“And then there was one,” Zarkar stated, staring at Lowenna. More tendrils and shards sprung from his cape both attacks heading for Lowenna. She touched her fingers to her pink crystal, clapped her hands and spread her arms, summoning the wheel of fire. The shards and tendrils, which touched it, melted back into nothingness but some of the tendrils went around it trying to grab her again.

Lowenna pushed the wheel of pink flames, before any of them could get her, and it shot at Zarkar, catching him temporally unprepared for the attack. Zarkar wrapped his hands quickly around himself and his cape covered him, much like it had done when Marchel had attacked with his lightning, but as the fire hit his cape, it enveloped it, burning it away.

Zarkar frantically removed his burning cape, throwing what was left of it on the ground, watching it burn. A nasty sneer appeared on his face as he averted his eyes from the remains of his cape back to Lowenna. He looked at this girl who was now walking towards him, her hand on fire, her dagger drawn. “You think I’m defenceless,” he screamed at her, as he removed his long sleeved coat revealing two wristbands.

Lowenna stopped moving, her eyes focusing in on the metal bracelets. And now she finally knew what he had taken in the raid, the two magical bands, with the black swirling stones, she had seen in the jewellery shop. Zarkar stood there for a moment staring at Lowenna, the sneer changing into a smile before he struck the two bands together.

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 © © 2015 by Robert Stevens All Rights Reserved

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