Suddenly everyone in the Hall shifted in their seats so they were looking at Arrie. Arrie's face showed more surprise than anyone else. "What?" she cried. "Arrie..." her mother began. Her face was set with a sad determination. "I think you can bear the Sword of the Dragons and with it, defeat Albento. I saw the warrior in you ever since you were born." Arrie didn't know what to say. She was too surprised to speak. The same thing must have happened to the other people in the audience. "Arrie, come down please," the king commanded gently. Arrie obeyed hesitantly. She felt the stares of others as she descended to the platform. "Arrie, will you take this sword in your hand for a moment?" asked her mom. She held out the sword. As Arrie touched it she felt a slight wave of warmth course through her body. "Arrie will you take this sword and with it annihilate Albento? Please save us, Arrie, before the dragons and us die!" "Now wait one minute! I don't want her going to take on this task! She's much too young!" cried a halfling crossing his arms. "Would you like to take her place?" asked the King, his eyebrows raised. The halfling didn't answer. "Then it is settled. Arrie will slay Albento." The King looked into Arrie's eyes and she felt something strange but it passed. This is all happening way too fast! Yesterday I was totally unaware that the next day I would have to save the world! Arrie thought in distress. However she turned towards the King and said, "Your Majesty, I will." The next day Arrie awoke uncomfortably in her bed. After she had agreed to the King's terms, the Gathering was over and everyone left with much discussion. The King had told her to get a good nights rest because tomorrow she would set out on her quest. She was to head into the Dark Hills and seek out Albento. No one wished to escort her except her mother but the King said they would need her in the town to help take care of the dying elves. Arrie stretched and got out of bed. She would need to pack light. She started filling canteens up to the brim with water. Then she went outside and picked out some food she would need. She didn't pack a lot of food, however, because she knew how to forage in the wild. After she had all her rations together she plopped them into her pack. She also packed rope, tinder, and a blanket. After she was done packing, Arrie sighed and flopped down on her bed. She didn't know if she would ever come back to her beloved house again. What if she failed her quest and all the dragons and elves were killed? Then Albento would slay other races as well! Arrie walked over to the Sword of the Dragons. It was lying horizontally across her desk. Arrie picked it up firmly in her hand and the same warmth she felt before passed through her body again. Arrie felt something in her mind speak. She didn't know what language it was speaking but she understood it perfectly well. It spoke with a deep, powerful voice, which echoed in her mind. "Destiny shall guide you in thy path to greatness. You shall change the course of the future whether it be for good or for ill. But whatever path thou shall take, I will be with you." The voice slowly died away. The echoes in Arrie's head diminished. She gaped at the sword in wonder. Then she stared at the hilt for what seemed like the first time. It was silver with a blue jewel in the center. Around the jewel was a dragon with its wings outspread so they became the handles. The jewel was glowing as well as the dragon's eyes. Arrie was filled with a sudden determination that had never come over her before. She sheathed the sword and swung her pack over her shoulder. She rapped gently on her mother's door and said steadily, "I'm going to leave now Mom." Her mom flung open the door. Her eyes were shining but not from joy. "I'll walk with you to the edge of the forest." They walked in silence. All to soon they reached the farthest edge of the forest. Beyond the border the trees were scarce. Arrie saw the King who was facing towards The Dark Hills. Beside him were some townsfolk who grimly nodded at Arrie. Arrie nodded back. The King didn't turn to face them but began to speak. "Arrie, before you go, we have some gifts to give you." He turned around and held out a shield. It was golden with red jewels scattered on the front. The leather strap was sturdy and strong. "May it protect and defend you well." Arrie thanked the King kindly and strapped the shield over her pack on her back. Then a fairy flew up in front of Arrie's face. She clapped her hands. All of a sudden a quiver of arrows and a bow were floating in the air. "These may seem like normal arrows and a normal bow but they are extremely powerful. They were made by Forest Spirits." The tiny fairy said in a magical voice. Arrie thanked the fairy and took the weapons. Arrie's mother handed her a necklace with a plain stone hanging from the chain. "This will help us communicate no matter where you are. And it will remind you that we are all with you." Then the King laid his hand on Arrie's shoulder after handing her a detailed map of the places she would be crossing. "You are the only one who can save us now." Arrie suddenly felt a tear slide down her face. She turned and ran into her mother's arms who hugged her tightly. She didn't want to leave her home and her friends. But eventually she tore herself away and forced herself to turn around. She could see the outline of the Dark Hills in the distance. She took her first step towards them. The steps turned a run. She ran as far as she could go until she was gasping for breath. Then she turned around and her mother, the King, and the townsfolk were gone.