The Flight of The Draykes
Collecting the flowers of thorns and the claws of fury from the attendant who brought them discreetly to us, we hustled our way back to the Hoard.
Reaching there, I dubiously looked at the flowers of thorns. Then I raised the jar with them in it over my head and examined it from the bottom. Then the side, then the top. All around!
And I bitterly cried out, “How is this baling thing worth 3 gold?”
My brother, who was about to ask how the auction was, choked behind me. Clearing his throat, he said, “3 gold for 3 flowers isn’t so bad.”
Morosely looking at him, I said, “That’s 3 gold…” Pausing for emphasis as Aaron began again, I cut him off and finished, “That’s 3 gold per flower.”
That was the sound that my brother made as he goggled at me. Then slapping his head, he murmured, “That wildling must have really gotten me good. I almost thought I heard him say 3 gold per flower.”
Patting him on the back, I put my mouth to his ear, and yelled out, “3 baling gold per flower!”
Jumping up, and then sinking back down, my brother stared stupefied at me as I stared in turn back at him.
We stood there silent for a minute as a gentle breeze sent leaves spiralling around us, while our own thoughts spiralled to renewed bankruptcy.
Then with a sigh, my brother clapped me on the shoulder and said, “It’s alright. These potions are invaluable, and you need them.”
Emotionally, I looked at him and said, “I know and I’m touched, but your tears are falling down on my shirt and the rate we’re going, I won’t be able to afford another shirt.”
Wiping his eyes hastily, my brother chuckled as he went inside, leaving me with the words, “Go find Galen, fast. He’s the one who’ll make the potions, right?”
Responding affirmatively, I quickly went to find the teacher to ask for another escort mission.
To Maeqil! To Sir Galen! To my warforce infusion potions!
Only to stop slack jawed as the teacher raged in the small practice field of the Hoard with an immense aura that left controlled slashes in the air that, on closer look, appeared to be in the shape of claws that lingered on.
Squinting, I made out the claws of fury on the teacher's hands and excited; I watched as the teacher cut and sliced, spun and jumped, and created a barrier around himself of blade glows that shone golden red in the air.
Finally, with a shink, the bladeglows stopped and the teacher's figure slowly became clearer as the bladeglows dissipated.
Looking at me, with his chest not even heaving in the slightest, Sir Leonidas grinned at me.
Running to him, I began exclaiming non-stop as I jumped from one side to the other, trying to get a better look at the claws of fury.
Obligingly, he held it out, and I looked at it, only to frown because… it was too plain. Plain yellow with the brown streaks did nothing to enhance the looks of the gauntlet.
Seeing my face, the teacher chuckled and asked me to move away, before he infused warforce into the gauntlets with his brows furrowed.
A second passed, and then I seemed to hear a roar shake the field as the gauntlet’s yellow became dominating golden yellow and the brown streaks now seemed streaked reddish brown instead.
A halo grew and surrounded the gauntlet, and the teacher raised a finger toward a tree, and with a shink, a claw extended forth and the tree had a small precise mark in the center.
Awed, I watched as the teacher concentrated harder and all 5 claws came out of one gauntlet and left long straight lines on the tree's bark.
Then he breathed out, and the warforce retreated back into his body, before he turned around and looked at me cockily, one eyebrow raised.
Clapping my hands, I profusely praised… the gauntlets, and completely ignored the man who was posing proudly.
Black lines crept across the teacher's face before, with a kick of his black boots, he sent me flying.
Dusting myself off while laughing, I quickly asked Teacher whether he could accompany me to Maeqil to see Sir Galen for the potions.
Agreeing without a moment's hesitation, we soon found ourselves in the rickety carriage that seemed to have gotten even ricketier.
But seeing the depression on the seat, I guessed it was because of my giant brother’s body. In fact, I was almost certain, but I didn’t have time to bother with that because I had questions to ask.
Turning to the teacher, I asked respectfully, “Teacher! Your gauntlets are amazing, but why didn’t the auctioneer demonstrate its capabilities like he did for the shield? Also, what are its capabilities?”
Looking at me, the teacher said, “Lesson for today. Will you tell your enemy your weaknesses?”
Puzzled, I responded in the negative and the teacher continued, “Then will you tell him your strengths?”
Seeing where he was going, I shook my head again and asked, “But why did he show the silver rank buckler then?”
Leaning back, the teacher regarded me with half-lidded eyes before he said, “apart from one or two special items which are almost artifacts in nature; the majority of equipment from common to gold is standard variety. its epic equipment and beyond which is kept hush-hush because of its attributes.”
Finishing he said, “As for the capabilities of the claws of fury? You’ll have to see me in battle for that. Then you’ll understand why they don’t reveal epic equipment and the above equipment’s attributes unless you buy it first.”
Then, closing his eyes, the teacher fell silent, and I looked out at the passing scenery as I thought of the equipment and my own dagger and horn of valor.
Touching my heart, I briefly felt the horn of valor's presence within my heart.
It seemed to have fused into me. When I was filled with fighting will, it would appear in the air beside me, and the horn would blow loud and clear.
Other times, it would just stay inside my heart - hidden.
I couldn’t understand the artifact but then it was left behind after the great collapse.
Lost in thought, time passed, and we reached Maeqil just as the sun was at its zenith.
Quickly finding Sir Galen and passing him the medicine scroll that I referred to as the scroll of life, as well as the flowers of thorns with the other ingredients; I watched as Sir Galen beamed and thanked Alden underneath his breath before he rushed off to a small antechamber where all sorts of jars and instruments lay.
I was about to leave with Sir Leonidas, when Sir Galen grabbed me and pulled me close while excitedly saying, “Watch how I make the medicine. In the future, you’ll have to do it yourself!”
Nodding, I opened my eyes as wide as they could go and watched Sir Galen carefully slice some ingredients, dice other ingredients, and crush others into powders. Still more ingredients were carefully squeezed as their juice was extracted or pulped into a gooey mixture and into all this, he added various colored liquids.
Then it was the flower of thorns' turn, and carefully grabbing a knife, he ran it along the stem in one smooth motion - breaking off all the thorns on that side - before repeating it until all the thorns were in the mixture.
Then he pulped the flower and poured a blue liquid over it that… melted the flower.
Taking everything together, Sir Galen put the mixture and more liquids into a huge pot with a fire burning underneath, and slowly injected warforce into it.
I watched as beads of sweat coated the calm teacher who at the moment had a manic look on his face as he worked, and soon with a hiss of colorful smoke, the pots lid was snatched away and the liquid was poured into vials that were kept at the ready.
Sinking back onto the chair and holding the three small vials triumphantly, Sir Galen smiled at me fiercely and I grinned back as I examined the vials carefully.
They were full of a blackish gold substance that bubbled as it lay, stoppered inside the vials. Doubtfully, I looked at Sir Galen, who nodded as he knew what I was thinking.
“It’s a success,” he said.
“How do you know?” I asked him.
“Because the entire room didn’t blow up!” Sir Galen responded drily.
Suddenly, back awash with sweat, I backed away slowly until Sir Galen barked a short laugh and handed me the potions.
Looking at them, I couldn’t help grinning.
A grin that slipped off as the calm teacher said, “Use one of them tomorrow instead of the normal infusion, and see how long it lasts. Leonidas will stay beside you the whole time,” he finished as he jerked his head at Sir Leonidas, who was curiously examining the vials as he stood beside me.
Jumping up in shock, for I didn’t know when he had crept up, I then began weeping openly.
Thinking that it was in relief for having reached a solution to the problem, the two teachers looked at each other gratified. Until they heard me muttering, “that’s 3 gold and almost 20 silvers wasted…. Oh, my money!”
Both of them fell before I was chased out by two kicks, landing squarely on my behind.
Yelping as I protected the potion vials, I stood up before chuckling to myself. Chuckles which turned into outright laughter.
Warforce Infusion Potion obtained!
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