Chapter 7—The Keeper

"My sword is called the Basilisk's sword," continued Deliphine, "It has the same abilities as the great snake itself, the ability to poison its victim through something else…undefeatable…" Dagg said nothing, his sister's words failed to alarm him. One chance was all he needed. Deliphine stared at her brother with something close to contempt.

"Very well," she said when she at last realized that he was serious, "This shall be my last strike unless you survive." Dagg braced himself, he only had one chance.

Deliphine lunged with great speed and the power of darkness behind her, the black sword seemed to turn into the face of a demon, black and merciless. The shadow was nearly upon him when Dagg suddenly whipped up his own sword as fast as he could ever manage. Like a ray of light it slashed into the Basilisk sword. Before the darkness could use its absorption, Dagg pushed his sword against it…metal against metal clashed and screeched deafeningly. Deliphine flinched slightly, it was all he needed. He continued to send his sword into a tight friction against his sisters and soon, sparks flicked from the friction. The blade of Deliphine disappeared.

Deliphine gaped. Her sword was gone, the hilt was still there…but the blade was no longer there. She glared at her brother who had pointed his own sword at her heart. Slowly, a smile flitted across her face.

"What did you do?" she asked. Dagg's eyes remained cold.

"You say the sword was made of particles of darkness…as we all know, the only element to defeat darkness would be light…of any kind, from the fire of the hearth or a simple spark…there is light even in darkness…"Dagg raised his sword, now was his chance…

Halla had been so absorbed in the scene that she randomly found herself in before she noticed a strange tugging from her heart. She closed her eyes and the pull grew stronger and stronger. Her stomach sank, she couldn't let go, if she did…everything would be destroyed, she knew. She hated the feeling, and tried to hold it back, but she knew from experience that she would most likely not succeed. When she opened her eyes, she saw Dagg holding the sword to Deliphine, her pulse sped up, the pulling grew stronger than ever…she knew that he was going to kill her…and yet despite Deliphine's wrongdoings, Halla didn't want her to be killed by Dagg…or that's how the pulling felt. She opened her mouth, only to be interrupted.

"This is the end…" said Dagg coldly. His hand on his sword shook slightly. Deliphine grinned evilly.

"Yes, I suppose it is, Dear Brother," she said, "But I must say, the war has indeed begun, not started by me or even Grenda (at this she shot her a sharp look) but by a traitor…now it makes all the sense in the world…traitor." She said tauntingly. Dagg gritted his teeth, he did not like his sister's speech, he probably never did…or will… his hand tightened…it was now or probably never…

"No! Don't kill her, you idiot!" screamed Halla. Her hand clutched her heart, and she was sure that she did not want to witness the death of another. Dagg stared at Halla then stared back at Deliphine, his eyes seemed to harden. Grenda shuddered, and Halla knew that his choice had already been made. She couldn't take it… no one was to die in her presence. The power through her heart was released…

x x x x

Gwidian had searched with his guards, nearly the entire city—no luck, his sister, Halla was still not found. He stood by a statue of the Gods praying that she was safe, as he waited for his last messenger to return. He and Halla were the most disagreeable siblings ever. They were 5 years apart and nearly the exact opposite each other in decisions, but when it came to personality, they were nearly the same. She was most troublesome, but he loved her as his sister all the same, and he was one of the few siblings she had who tolerated her strange …ability… the red-faced messenger returned.

"Nothing, Princess Halla was not found there," puffed the messenger. The prince swore under his breath in disappointment. The messenger's face brightened suddenly.

"However, Prince, some villagers said that there was one other place that Princess Halla can be," he said. The prince brightened as well.

"Where?" He asked anxiously.

"The villagers say they had seen a group of people go into the old ruins of Genorah Castle, the castle is broken, but it still provides strong shelter," said the messenger. Gwidian's eyes flashed.

"Yes, we shall go there to look then," he said decisively. Moments later, Gwidian with his guards were in front of the abandoned castle. Genorah Castle, once a splendor now reduced to ruins. Moss grew on every stone that had once been wall, tower and structure now all lay in the same gray ruins. It had been uninhabited for over a century. Eerily, the splendor that had once existed in the castle seemed to haunt it. It was an old castle—an old stronghold. Since the days of Ravina Dawn and the 30 noble houses…it had stood so strong…and now it was in ruins. Gwidian wanted to laugh at it all the irony. Before, the castle had been the stronghold of the clan of Luminous and Charen, but now it lay abandoned—perfect for a rebel force to control…and yet until now it remained unoccupied.

Gwidian went up to the giant stone walls now scared with age, he knocked and then laughed to himself, if it was inhabited, there should be no one there of course. There was no answer. But Gwidian sensed his troops hold their breath. They were well trained soldiers he was sure, but they were often caught between the rift of fighting and dying or fighting for the joy of stabbing others… there was no response. Gwidian waited as though expecting something. He signaled for his guards to push open the doors. The men held the door and attempted to push it. It was a heavy door and they pushed as hard as they could, but the door did not budge. Gwidian signaled his guards to stop. He marched to the door himself, rapped the hard stone then said in a loud voice:

"I, Prince Gwidian of Evocaria, command you inhabitants to open this door!" There was no answer at first. Gwidian thought he heard something move on the opposite side of the door. Then an old voice sounded from behind the door.

"Who?" the voice asked. Gwidian leaned against the door impatiently.

"I, Gwidian Lionel Luminous, Prince of Evocaria commands you to open this door!" he said impatiently. The voice on the other side chuckled.

"Evocarian princie eh?" he chuckled, "And might you be here to rescue a little Evocarian princess?" Gwidian tensed slightly.

"Yes," he responded.

"Well, then I expect you are too late princie," the voice chuckled maddeningly. Gwidian felt his anger rising, Halla couldn't be…he had known her to get out of situations much harder than this one. He gritted his teeth to keep his voice steady. He signaled for the men to start ramming the door. He would get in, whether it was too late, or too early. But before anyone could move, there was a scream from inside the castle, an old screeching cry of pain. There was light between the cracks of the doors now, and seconds later, the doors were both flung wide open. Then the light began to die down. Gwidian blinked as did his guards. The light had died before he thought of finally advancing into the ruins of the castle. He had a vague idea of what the light had been.


Halla released the fire in her heart… or more like it burst from her…half intentionally, half wildly. It flew swiftly at Dagg who was about to give the killing blow. Dagg looked up surprised, and it was all Deliphine needed, her blade returned, as she swiftly knocked aside Dagg's sword and delivered a wound to his arm, but then, she too had seen the light speeding towards them. Halla watched helplessly. The light collided with the figure of Dagg and brightened greatly. Halla bit her lip, there was no one who could have survived that strike… and yet, as the light dimmed and died away, there was a kneeling form. It was Dagg. He breathed heavily. Then, from behind him, just beginning to stand up was Deliphine, smiling her impish smile.

Dagg coughed up blood. His eyes seemed somewhat unfocused. Deliphine smirked.

"He's in a daze, hopeless soul, I think I'd better—" started Deliphine, but Halla had thrown herself into the space between them. She stared at Deliphine. Defiant, Deliphine stared back.

"Stand back," said Deliphine, her eyes flashed coldly. Halla glared back evenly. Deliphine raised her sword in warning. Then, for the first time, Halla felt an anger welling up inside her.

"You idiot! Just like your brother! But at least, he had some honor and true strength!" she shouted at Deliphine. Deliphine raised an eyebrow, quite surprised at Halla's sudden outburst.

"What has he done to ever wrong you?" said Halla.

"He destroyed my family—our family in fact, and betrayed his own country, he is a traitor…I suppose a princess would not know that the penalty for a traitor would be death, Princess Halla, what would you do to someone who killed your parents, brothers and sisters?" she said. Halla glared.

"That's not true, he couldn't have done that…not on purpose at least," said Halla, she felt her voice waver, there she was, defending a stranger whose past she had never truly heard of…and yet…

"You don't know the story! You're the fool here, thinking you know something that you don't!" said Deliphine.

"You enjoy this don't you? Killing your last kin is just as bad as killing your parents, and family!" Halla retorted. Her head was beginning to throb.

"No…I am only doing this for revenge, I must avenge my family…even if it means killing my own brother…" Deliphine said, her voice quieted near the end. But Halla did not notice.

"He did not do it—" she started. Then, there was a shift from behind.

"No, she's right," said a voice. Halla looked back. Dagg was struggling to get up. His eyes shone with renewed vigor, but the rest of him seemed unwilling to move.

"You awaken at last," said Deliphine. Dagg managed a silver tinted smile.

"And so, you shall fulfill your vengeance," he said. He stood to face her.

"Please get out of the way Princess," he said to Halla. Halla felt shocked. She couldn't move. What was he saying? Surely moving would mean death for him.

Halla felt a gentle push from behind her. But she could not move. Deliphine was getting impatient.

"Screw it," she said. "Either way, the war has started, two dead would be better than one." She lashed out with her blade. Halla had closed her eyes…one second…two seconds… when was it going to strike? She couldn't bear it; she had to open her eyes. The scene that met her surprised her.

"It's alright now, Halla," said a very familiar voice. Halla saw her brother, Gwidian. He stood in front of her, and caught in his hands was the Basilisk's sword. He winked at her, she gaped back. Deliphine stood with her face contorted with anger. Her blade vanished, as she glared at Gwidian with loathing…


Yes I know, abrupt ending…well, I have to sleep you know