Realms of Destiny
The effect of the forbidden spell left a lasting resonance in the air. No one knew exactly what had happened, after a short moment of silence and confusion, one Sylrill came to his sense and realized that both Kings were dead. At the same time, a Rathnor warrior saw the same and bound for the skies, both shouting at the top of their lungs.
“The King is dead!” cried the Sylrill.
“The Lord has fallen!” echoed the Rathnor as he quickly approached the standard bearer to relay his news.
“Shut up! Don’t cause a panic!” He punched the panic-struck soldier in an attempt to bring him back to his senses. “We still have the Prince. Where is Prince Flaros?”
“HE’S GONE!” The young soldier screamed in desperation.
“SHUT UP MAN! I’m not deaf! …As in, you don’t know?” The standard bearer asked, extremely annoyed at this greenhorn who clearly had never been in a war before, what a disgrace to the Rathnor race.
“No, as in, he disappeared before my very eyes, the Sylrill King cast some powerful spell, and they all disappeared!” He had calmed down a little now, but there was still fear in his eyes. “I can’t feel the Prince’s presence any more…can you?”
Now that he came to think of it, the veteran standard bearer realized this. They were defeated. However, the opposition seemed to be under the same predicament, the Sylrill King was dead as well, and as far as he could sense, the overwhelming presence of Light that was there earlier had also disappeared. They were at an advantage numbers wise, if only they could hang on just a little longer, the Sylrills might give way. As he thought of what next to do, the decision was made for him, he felt a slender hand on his shoulder and a familiar voice spoke to him.
“Sound the retreat.” It was Lillyth Morgend. She was barely hanging on to her consciousness, her left arm useless from the blow dealt by Byakuron. However, at the moment, she was the only remaining senior officer. She knew as well that victory was near enough, but she could see that thinking they can defeat the Sylrills by sheer number was amateur. She had lost many a great warrior today and the Sylrillians still had its Sky General and Grand Maester, not to mention the Ulnorians who, having played safe, still had the majority of their troops still. Had she been in full health, she would’ve taken the chances, but Byakuron and Solarus with his Light pillar attack previously have left her badly injured. As the signal sounded, she called forth her demon wings and made her way the end of the ranks. Accompanied by Rathnor Sorcerers, they summoned several large dark portals, leading the Demonic hosts once more, back where they belonged.
Over at the Sylrillian defence line, a similar conversation took place. It had been established that the head of the Sylrill were nowhere to be seen. News and rumors spread through the ranks, and the Sylrills cried in despair. Some thought that the Princess had died, others thought she was captured, many still, did not listen to anything beyond the point where the news went that the King is dead. The horn sounded a howl of defeat and the Heavenly hosts returned to their home.
The Ulnorians saw the retreat of the Rathnors and cried in triumph. Prince Ultima resumed his seat upon Emerald and gave a massive stretch and a yawn.
“Finally! Now I can go have tea with the Princess. Now…” He looked around. ”Where’d she go?” He turned to his attendant who replied.
“The Sylrills seem to be heading back Your Royal Highness.” Ultima gave a sigh and urged Emerald towards the Sylrill Army.
“Head back without me, tell father he can continue the wedding preparations now that the war’s over”.
“What do we do now Sky General?” One dragoon asked Sephiron as he approached the portal leading back to Sylrillia. “Is it true that…the Princess…”
“No, it’s not true, and I don’t know what we’re doing next, we’ll discuss this later” Sephiron brushed the question away. He was in an extremely bad mood. The turmoil within his heart was a bundle of confusion, rage, and shock. The King is dead; his Princess was gone; the Battle was a tie…again; and there were no answers. Solarus is nowhere to be seen. Despite not being utterly happy with the constant smile on his face, Sephiron respected Solarus as the Leader in their group of four, he always had the answers; but now that he needed answers most, the Captain Commander is nowhere to be seen. All his troops as well as those that belonged to Byakuron and Solarus have been approaching him with questions he had no answer to. He was annoyed, and as soon as the last of his troop entered the portal he mounted his silver dragon Storm and prepared to scan the battle field for his fallen comrades.
“Just go! I’ll answer your questions later alright?” Sephiron snapped, but realized too late, that the person was not his subordinate but the dark-skinned Ulnorian Prince. “My apologies Your Royal Highness. I thought you were - ” Sephiron quickly bowed, if he wanted to find his way back to his homeland with pride, offending the Prince was the last thing he should do.
“Never mind that. Where is Princess Miraina? I would like to offer my congratulations on the Rathnor’s defeat.” Ultima asked, looking around and seeing no one.
“Uh…My lord, we…know not what have become of the Princess, sir.” Said Sephiron, unsure what the Ulnorian Prince would think of this. If the Princess cannot be found, the engagement will no doubt be off, the unification of the two nations would never happen, and he would not be able to return to his fatherland. Sephiron cursed his luck.
“So you haven’t seen her?” Ultima asked.
“No your highness, we did not defeat the Rathnorians.” He clenched his fist. “Both army lost its head. The King is dead and the Princess has disappeared. We do not know anything beyond this. Please allow us some time to figure this out. I shall relay any progress to you without delay.”
“My condolences to your King.” Ultima hid an inward smile, this is almost too good to be true, all he has to do is find the Princess, marry her, and he’ll be King. “Please get to your duties Sky General, do let me know as soon as you find the Princess.” With that, he muttered a word of magic. Emerald, his sea dragon transformed into a pearl pendant the size of a pebble and lodged itself in his armband. Ultima extended his hand, chanted another word, a watery portal opened a foot in front of him. He dove head first into the water portal which closed behind him. Sephiron gave a sigh of relief and mounted his silver dragon Storm.
As Sephiron flew above the Everguard Shield, the only things remaining, now that the survivors have left are remains of Sylrills who, having died recently, are beginning to disintegrate into spirit particles. It takes over a day for a Sylrill to disintegrate completely, if he hurried he would still be able to find who he was looking for. It did not take him long, however. Sephiron could see the only movement in all the silence. It was Aliost and Korin, sitting together on the ground where there was an empty space. Korin was pawing the ground impatiently while Aliost sat and watched her. Sephiron approached the two creatures, dismounted from his dragon and walked towards Aloist and placed his palm on the Gryphon’s feathered head.
<Where is your master Aliost?> Sephiron asked telepathically, the language of the heart is the only way in which Sylrillians could communicate with those of the other races who do not speak the same language.
<He is gone.> Said Aliost matter-of-factly. Sephiron did not sense sorrow or anger from the tone and was surprised. Mounts of Sylrillia tend to be very attached to their masters. Especially a Gryphon like Aliost who constantly fought enhanced by Solarus’s magic. Sephiron thought this odd, before he could ask, Aloist answered him. <The King cast a spell, and he, together with the Princess, disappeared. This was where it happened. This was the last place I saw him.>
As he said this, Korin had walked up to the two and nuzzled her head under Sephiron’s other free palm. Once connected, she relayed the same story to Sephiron.
<I saw the King cast a spell and Master, the Captain Commander, the Princess, and the Demon Prince, disappeared. They’re not dead I know it! You must find them!> She gave a soft growl, half pleading, half commanding.
Sephiron did not like being commanded by a mount but Korin had a point. He must find out what had happen to them, and if what she said was true, it meant that all is not lost, the Princess is alive, and so are the other two guardians, he must consult Grantig. As though conjured by thought, Grantig landed right next to him.
“So this is where they disappeared.” He commented. He looked up at his staff, the Grand Maester Staff of the Earth and saw that its crystal was glowing faintly. “Powerful magic indeed.”
“You knew?” Sephiron asked, slightly amazed that the Earth guardian could deduce everything just by being there. “That they disappeared, I mean.”
“It is simple. I put an enchantment on the Princess before the war started, and had she died we, as her Guardians, would know it before anyone else. The King’s body was found and taken away earlier. Both His Majesty’s heartgem as well as the Demon Lord’s were not present. There was no evidence of force being applied to the socket, which meant that the gem was consumed as a spell component. All spells which involves a sacrifice of the heartgem are forbidden under Sylrillian law, and one which consumes two must be powerful indeed. I was proven right when the Grand Maester staff responded to the magical resonance in this area. I don’t know what spell was used just yet, I can only guess that it was a Realm Intervention spell, I’ll have to visit the library later to confirm.” Sephiron opened his mouth to speak, but Grantig continued. “If you’re wondering how I knew about the other two Guardians, one, it is only natural that those two would come to the Princess’s aid as soon as she let out her Light Nova, they are her personal knights after all. Secondly, the fact that those two Mounts aren’t in tears justifies my hypothesis that they too are still alive. Therefore, they must have been within the magic’s vicinity as well.”
Sephiron was dumbstruck as Grantig deduced the entire situation down to the very spell that was used. He knew that Grantig was a top student at his academy, an extremely intelligent Sylrill despite his humble background, but he did not expect such level of deduction, it almost made him feel stupid having to ask Mounts about what happened. He did not betray any of this on his expression, however.
“We don’t have a moment to lose. We must proceed with the next logical thing to do at this moment: First, I shall go to the library and confirm the spell, it will also give me a clearer idea of what may have happened to them. Then we must visit the Death Keeper to confirm that the Princess is alive, and find a steward of the throne in her absence. Meet me at the Death Keeper’s Gates in two hours.” With that Grantig held up his staff, spoke a word of magic, and disappeared out of sight.
“Yes, sir.” Said Sephiron mockingly. “Who died and made him boss?” Realizing the inappropriateness of his own comment, he urged the two Mounts to the remaining portal back to Sylrillia.
The result of the battle did not surprise many people as the Sylrillians and Rathnorians have been at war and tied for as long as any Sylrill could remember. The soldiers returned to their homes, healed by those dear to them, but this time it was different. The Kingdom now has no King, furthermore, the Princess of Light, hope of the nation, was nowhere to be found. The next possible alternative, a member of the royal family, Captain Commander Solarus, had also disappeared. The militia was in turmoil, the Granadia army and the Ground and Sky Troops were missing their Captains; the Grand Maester had disappeared off to the library; Sephiron was trying his best to direct lower officers on what he himself did not know about, as well as informing the Royal Court about the circumstances of the King’s death and the disappearance of the Princess.
“We believe a spell was performed, and that caused her to disappear.” Said Sephiron to an inquiring Privy Councilor. “No sir, I assure you she is not dead.” He turned to the other question. “Grand Maester Shieldfall confirms this, my lord.”
“So the King is alive as well?”
“No Lord Breare, His Majesty is dead; the Princess, however, is not.”
“What have become of –“
Why does everyone have to ask ME all these stupid questions? Grantig was supposed to be the diplomatic one, where the hell had he gone off to? Thought Sephiron to himself as he said. “If you will excuse me my lords, I have a matter to attend to. I assure you we will have an answer by the next Court Meeting.” With that he took his leave and paced his way as fast as he could down the corridor. As he reached the East Exit he called forth his scaled wings and took off into the evening skies; towards the Death Keeper’s Gates.