Age of Ember beta
Chapter 6 "The Rain"
The excitement on all four of their faces soon became an unmarked hesitation. The task they were given was more than just a test of speed, but also one of precision and team work. Odrian threw down a paddle, and picked it back up in one swift interval. He knew that showing even the slightest hints of frustration in front of Ziggy would lead to undesirable outcomes. Ziggy walked over to Odrian and placed his hand atop his shoulder with a slight grip. Odrian glanced over observing the look of pure evil in his eyes as a deceptive smile replaced it.
"I wasn't done yet?" Odrian realized he made a grave mistake. Landon, Victor, and Sarah all wanted to speak up but understood the repercussions. Ziggy laughed as he walked back over to the bag and sat on the steps of the house. He grabbed a cup of tea that was on a table by the steps, taking 2 sips.
"NO FORUX! NO MAGIC!" Ziggy reiterated.
Any semblance of hope had fled their souls. They knew that they were fast but rain didn’t seem to cease and there didn’t seem to be an end in sight. This task was daunting to say the least.
"It's starting" Landon said as the winds picked up slightly.
The first couple of drops began to fall and Landon rushed to the air, swiftly knocking them away with his paddle. Sensing an onslaught following up he somersault while still in midair, also knocking them away.
Soon after, the rain began to pour heavier and at once they moved to take on Ziggy’s outrageous challenge. They moved so fast you couldn't see anything but the rain being pushed away from their home almost as if the house was covered by an invisible force field. Sarah paddled away drop after drop, trying her best not to bump into anyone. Victor was starting to realize that force wasn't as necessary as having speed to tackle the task. Sharing this with the others, they conserved energy as they fought off the torrential rain. Odrian wanted an easier method to hit as many drops raindrops using sliding motions with his hands. Landon remained focused as he immersed himself in the strenuous activity. He became one with his paddle. One thing everyone recognized was that it would be ill advised to bump into each other as their barrier would break.
Sabrina approached Ziggy whom was closely observing the young trainees to let him know that dinner would be done in an hour. Watching along with him, she could see that they were working extremely hard. She imagined that Ziggy wouldn’t have been so cruel, especially since they did so well today.
"Ziggy, let them catch a break,” Sabrina seemed bothered by what she was seeing. “They won today"
Ziggy took a look at her and smiled. Laughing at the thought of them easing up a little, he said:
"Don't you like the breeze though? It’s better than a.c."
Sabrina wanted to laugh but felt sorry for them.
"Dinner will be done in an hour."
"They stop when the rain does keep dinner warm bae," Ziggy responded instantly as he caressed her leg in an up and down motion.
Meanwhile Lazarus and Dominus waited in front of a colossal medieval fortress with a long, cobblestone pathway that spanned miles ahead. There were huge fields to right and left of the pathway as it ascended in a slight slope. A giant structure was elevated far up from the ground. All the vampires were been summoned prior to them arriving and were still emerging from the pathway. Lazarus’ 14 willfully infected vampires showed up at his side, with 7 on his left and 7 on his right.
"Where is the 15th?"
One of the 14 stepped forward and knelt down in one knee, informing them:
"She should be leaving class by now."
Lazarus waved his hand upwards symbolizing that they could go back in place. After a brief moment, tens of thousands of vampires flood into the fields filling both the left and right fields.
"Is this all?" Dominus asked growing impatient.
"Yes..., you should relax a little."
All the personally infected vampires began to talk amongst each other.
"We haven't been summoned in years."
"What's going on?"
"Did someone do something?"
"This needs to be quick! I’m sooo hungry!"
Lazarus’ eyes gleamed and soon a rush of wind flowed throughout the entire area. He roared:
The silence became deafening as he looked upon both fields. He continued:
"I have a guest here and none of you paid your respect to this cloaked gentleman! None of you even bowed! Who do you think you all are? To keep this short, I will not tell you why you’re here since none of you show the least bit of respect!"
Dominus pointed at a young vampire who stood far in the back who had nodded to his gesture. The vampire was about 7 years old.
The little vampire walked along the pathway and stood before Lazarus. Lazarus leaned over and whispered:
"Lucky! You may stand directly next to the 14!"
Lazarus walked forward toward the center of the pathway and then looked down menacingly upon the crowd below him. He said calmly:
"The rest of you must die."
The crowd panicked and complained immediately with some trying to flee in vain.
"Bone Vine!" Lazarus said indifferently as he oversaw everything that happened.
Thousands of bones shot out from the ground with spear-tips, piercing everyone through the head. Most of their heads were violently ripped off their bodies. All that was left was a sea of a hundred thousand heads staked on the bone vines. However, Lazarus was a man of culture, so heads in the field wasn't his favorite take on his art.
The bones started to grow and branch out, absorbing the decapitated bodies below it for their nutrients. These trees were bone white and sprouted red leaves. Each tree had a face for each of the vampires killed. His corpse filled fields became massive forests.
"That's a lot better."
Lazarus dismissed the 14 and looked back at Dominus.
"Is this enough?"
“Yes,” Dominus faded away back into his realm.
Lazarus looked at the young vampire who cowered in fear.
"Be glad he noticed too."
The young vampire gazed off at the trees and could see a single drop of blood falling off the branch of a tree. But Before a drop of could touch the floor Odrian tries to hit it away but missed miserably. They all heard the splash of one drop connecting with the floor and stopped moving. They’ve been knocking away rain for over an hour, it had taken a toll with them. Ziggy stood up and made his way over to the 4 trainees. Looking defeated, Sarah looked as though she wanted to cry. Sarah ran over hiding her face in Ziggy’s chest to hide her tears.
"Looks like you won't be eating tonight!"
Ziggy could feel Sabrina's glaring eyes pry into his soul, so he laughed it off.
"Uh, I was Joking Bae! Ah, let’s Celebrate!"
“Your mom is still scary,” Victor whispers to Odrian
"I know" Odrian whispered back.
They all head inside to clean up to have dinner. It was going to be a long night.