Chapter Six: Maple Manor Part Two

For as long as I can remember, no one wanted me. They turned their backs on me, frightened. I didn't mean to scare them, I ... I only wanted to help. So they locked me away in some far off place, with a name I can't even pronounce. I sit in darkness, waiting ... waiting to be wanted once again.

Then he came. Unlocking the door to my prison. Shedding light inside for the very first time in centuries. It hurt my eyes at first. I looked upon the shadowily outline of the one who would become my master.

He took me from that place. I almost miss it ... it had been my home for so long. The man treated me well ... and I was happy. It didn't last long though ... he began to turn ... becoming something other than my master. Why is this happening once again? What can I do to help him? I feel ... worthless. One night he came, it was raining. The sky opened and poured down upon his castle ... he sent me away, and then ...

- - - - -

Tip-toeing, the trio darted across the half lite hallway to a closed door. Taking a piece of wire, Dax picked at the lock while the other two stood guard. The Manor was a lot larger than they expected. Everywhere they had turned, they would find ghostly hallways that would lead to dead ends and gargoyle statues that looked like they would come to life any moment. It was hard to believe people lived there. It was like stepping into some kind of vampire's domain, only without the vampires.

"Almost got it." Dax whispered.

"Hurry up, I think I hear footsteps coming this way." Jaidyn replied, shifting his eyes toward the end of the hall.

Dax turned the wire one last time. Hearing the popping sound, she pushed open the door and signaled for the two to scurry inside. The room was an eye opener. Closing the door behind her, Dax studied the overly done pink room. It was definitely a bedroom. A king sized fluffy bed sat in the middle, surrounded by four gargoyle bedposts. Dax skipped over to one of the closets, which turned out to be full of royal dresses and skirts. "We'll just change into these. I'm sure the lady won't mind getting these fancy things. I mean, look at them. They appear to be expensive."

"To bad there's not a bathroom. For once, I want to shower." Jaidyn sighed as he flopped himself down in one of the satin cushioned chairs.

Chance sat down at the edge of the bed. He couldn't wait to get the stinky dress off. It took everything he had just to withstand it as long as he did.

"Alright. I'll change in here, while you two get dressed out here." Dax ordered as she threw a dress at Chance and another at Jaidyn. "No peeking, boys!" She growled, closing the closet door behind her.

"Like I want to see that! If I'm going to see anything, it'll be one of those barbie doll girls that are supposed to be dwelling in this Manor. Which I still haven't seen any ..."

"You will Jay, I'm sure." Chance smiled.

"Nice to see you smiling again ... I guess." Jaidyn replied as he tried slipping off the dress. Lifting it over his head, his face turned red with anger and embarrassment. "Damn it, I'm stuck!"

Chance tilted his head and began to laugh at the scene. Jaidyn leaped around the room, his dress caught around his arms and head. "It's a good thing you have boxers on." Chance said between laughter.

"What's that supposed to mean? Get over here and help me out of this thing!"

"Well, your whole bottom half is showing, that's what it's supposed to mean." Saying that, Chance grabbed the top of the dress, pulling it, he could hear the dress rip and give way. Jaidyn snapped out of it and fell to the carpet. "You alright?" Chance giggled.

"How can girls wear those dumb things!?"

"Will you keep it down! We'll get caught if you keep screaming like that!" Dax said angerly as she stepped out of the closet. Walking to the door, she placed an ear to it to listen. "I think we're still ok." Glancing over her shoulder, she shook her head. "Jay, what would you do without us?"

"Probably have everlasting peace ..." Jaidyn mumbled.

Dax walked over to Jaidyn and helped him slip on his new dress. When they were finished, they stepped outside the door, closing it quietly after them. Dax took a few moments to skim back through the directions, pointing, the three made their way to another section of the Manor. Turning corners and hiding behind statues, it came shocking that there wasn't anyone around.

"Where is everyone? Where are all the girls?" Jaidyn complained while scratching the bottom half of his back. The dress fit more comfortably, but the material that it was made from itched worse than the wig.

"I'm not sure. Maybe they're having a party or something?" Dax said in a low tone. "Doesn't matter, makes it easier for us. Come on, this way."

Like shadows, they darted from statue to statue till they reached a long spiral staircase leading down into the treasury. Dax threw a hand up for her two comrades to stop. Her eye peering down at one of the steps. A bloody form laid limp in a large pool of blood. Dax stepped down a little to examine the once breathing person. Turning the body over, she could hardly tell that it was once a young man. "A guard, maybe?" Dax wondered as she looked over the heap of torn flesh and muscle. Markings had formed over the man's wounds, they appeared to be some sort of writing. "No rune did this, nor any weapon I have ever seen ..."

"What the ..." Jaidyn couldn't finish. He starred below him at Dax with wide and confused eyes. Chance kneeled beside him, his expression the same as Jaidyns'.

"I don't know what's going on here, but I am starting to wonder ..."

"What you thinking Dax?"

Dax glanced up at Jaidyn and then turned her gaze back at the dead man. "This could be why we haven't seen anyone. They might all be ... dead."

"I wonder why ... why would someone do this?" Chance said, more to himself.

"The Legendary Rune, it has to be here ... maybe that's why?" Dax answered, standing up. "I say we go down. I want to see for myself if this so called, 'rune' really exists."

Stepping over the body, the trio slowly made their decent below. Upon reaching the door, they found four other dead guards, all with the same markings.

"The door, it's already open." Chance pointed out.

Tensing up, Jaidyn took the lead with Spirits' name already forming on his lips. They could see a bright light shining through the half opened door. The three crept in slowly, but before they could look around, a voice spoke to them from across the room.

"I was wondering when you thieves would get here. Though I'm not sure I should even call you thieves. You make so much noise that even the rats know you're here."

The three stood just a few feet from the door. The tall man disappeared for a moment, and then reappeared in front of them. Chance gasp as he took a step back. The man wore all black, his hair, forest green and he had two different color eyes; one a blazing orange and the other a dark green.

"Did ... did he just teleport!?" Jaidyn thought as he lifted his arm. He could feel Spirit reacting, reacting to his emotions.

"Did you kill all those people?" Dax asked forcefully, her eye narrowing and her hands turning into fists.

"And what if I did? You Rune Bearers can't do anything about it." Karlis smirked. "If you want to steal something, do it and leave. I don't have time to waste on you creatures."

"Who are you calling creatures!?" Dax snapped back at him. "Who do you think you are?"

"Trust me little girl, you don't want to know. Now I suggest you leave, before I make this Manson your tomb."

Dax could feel her face turning hot. "Who does this freak think he is!? I'll shut him up, forever!"

"Dax, I know what you're thinking. Don't do it. I have a strange feeling about this man ..." Chance tried to plead, but his words fell on deaf ears. She lunged forward before he could grab her.

"Dax, no!" Jaidyn yelled.

Karlis grinned in delight, shifting his body in a defensive posture, he waited for her. "This is going to be fun!"