Hi everyone. Here's chapter 6. After re-reading chapter 5, I noticed several major errors, including the misuse of a character's name. I apologize for this profusely. Please email me your comments!! They really let me know whether or not this work is worth the effort. Oh yes, there's naughty words and some sex scenes, so if you're under 18.. well, you know the rules. It's your butt, not mine. ;-) Thanks for reading!
The Dark One
by David M. Roduner
It was dark, cold, silent. His challenge was without words as his evil pressed against her fair skin. "You will not succeed," she said quietly, full of defiance. There was silence. Always silence. But her quiet challenge had unnerved him. Already one was damaged. But the fools had healed his original, and had healed him. His body hissed in anger, swirling its rocky soulless contents ever closer to its destination. "My children will destroy you," she continued, cutting into his anger like a knife.
"You weak, foolish woman," he hissed. "You are soft, and I shall destroy you."
"I cannot be destroyed. You know that. The High Magic forbids it."
"That is true, but I can overpower you. And I will. I do not follow your high magic. To listen to that is a fool's errand! My powers have overcome your high magic.. you have seen my wonders."
"Your wonders are but shells of my truths; look how weak they are. While they live in my land, they follow the Laws of the High Magic. They live by the Laws, for they cannot avoid it. Your Laws cannot exist here. You know you cannot win."
"Foolish woman, your weak words can never delay me from my destiny. I shall triumph, and your Law forbids you from fighting me directly."
"Yes, not even I supersede the Law. Nothing does. Not you or I or any being."
"When my left and right hands have clutched on your throat you will speak differently. After I have dusted you away and buried your useless body into the cold ground, you will know my might."
"And from the ground will grow my most gorgeous wonders --"
"Which I will chop down!"
"The High Magic is infinite, as am I."
"Your son has fallen to Satan!" Roland, Cor's father blinked his eyes mindlessly. The Cardinal roughly slapped Roland in his drunken stupor. "Didn't you hear me, child?"
"Just like my wife.. You told me she fell into his arms as well.." Roland paused for a moment of reflection. "Ach, go back and burn ye scurvy bandit. Ye've ruined enough of me life!" Roland said in his alcohol-induced state, brushing the Cardinal's hard off of him. "My lad's gone, and so's my wife. She always said he was special. Maybe he will fix this whole mess you priesties have made. I'm off to bed.. Ouch, my head!"
"God only punishes the guilty," the Cardinal said, smirking. After Roland had left the Cardinal's chambers, the holy man looked up into the sky, seeing a slight hint of darkness in the air. "He'll come around soon enough, Master. Just wait. Patience we must have, yessssss.."
The Cardinal was the Dark One's most prized creation. While his other brutes were rough parodies of human life, he put intelligence in this particular creature. Its power of manipulation was almost as powerful as Mørkt's magic. And the allegiance of the church and the state, held in the hands of Mørkt, was a very wise move, as the combined powers either convinced people of their supposed genuine nature, or sealed their mouths with fear. "Think not that you are invincible, fool," Mørkt quietly said as he entered the room. "And may the Dark Lord destroy that horrible music.."
"Ah, the brothers are chanting again," the Cardinal replied, staring at his red robe uniform. "Yes, their melodies are quite horrific. But we shall end this music as they call it." In the distance, the two Dark servants could hear the mystical chants of the brothers, their notes soaring up and down, never beginning or ending. The Dark One's servants could never understand the grace of the chants they heard.
"But when we have control, this will all end. He shall shape it to his will."
"What a glorious day that will be," the Cardinal said, mostly to himself.
Roland had had enough. He loved his son, and the Dark One's cold fingers were now away from his eyes. The mixture he thought was alcohol had something in it.. a flavor he wished that he could relish for the rest of his life. Where was the woman that had given him that strange brew? He was determined to find her. But first to the good King Calamon. Surely he could fix this madness! Determinedly, Roland walked into court. He lowered his head in sadness immediately. King Calamon was no longer the great ruler that he had been. He was now old and wrinkled, bent and misshapen. He was withering away, day by day. This was a good day. The king was able to present himself in court. But on the bad days he was bedridden and moaning in pain.
A fiddler played a sad tune in minor off to the side of the king. Roland stepped towards his lord, head bowed. "My Lord, I prithee counsel. I have ill news," Roland formally said.
"All news I hear is ill, my friend," the king managed to wheeze out. "But come here and speak these words to me."
Roland sadly walked to the king's feet and kneeled respectfully. "My lord, I fear that our cardinal is being controlled by evil influences." The king nodded at hearing this. Suddenly, a door was opened and shut loudly. Heads turned towards the disturbing noise.
Mørkt walked briskly to the king's side. He glared at Roland's bowing frame, but said nothing. "My dear counsel," the king said weakly, turning towards the Dark One's left-hand servant, "whatever is the matter? You seem distraught."
"Sadly," Mørkt replied, eyeing Roland with a wicked stare, "our dear Cardinal has been attacked by a drunken fool. But one cannot blame him. He did not know that he married a witch." Roland's head moved out of its bow and returned Mørkt's glare. "And to have a son overtaken by the devil is equally sad. Two harsh blows to make him mad. It is best to put him with the other madmen. Like those prophets.. foreseeing ridiculous catastrophes!" Mørkt then looked at the court accusingly. "I'm sure that there are many madmen present in this very room. I will see they are all put in the proper place if they do not watch their steps." I sudden chill could be felt throughout the room.
"I shall deal with the accused party personally," replied the king after a pause, "and thank you for your continued.. assistance, Mørkt Servio. This kingdom would be entirely different without your counsel." No truer words had been spoken. "Now, I shall retire to my room, where I will speak with the assassin of our Cardinal's honor. Mørkt, I would like you to find our Cardinal and bring him to me so that I can know all of the charges before passing judgement."
The Dark One's left-hand servant nodded his head and spun out of court, his black cape swirling where there was no wind.
John kneeling on the ground, gasping for breath. This brute was draining him of his strength. Before today, he had never participated in any sort of physical violence. And here he was, battling this evil creature. "Now you shall die, and my Lord shall be victorious," the creature growled. He grabbed both ends of his broadsword and lifted it into the air, which caused an evil yellow glow, causing the one sword to become two separate lances. John stayed down on his knees, glaring at the evil creature. Demonsdeath knew what to do. The brute started running madly towards John, lances extended. It jumped into the air, ready to strike. Patiently, John waited for the right moment. He held, breathed in and --
The brute looked down in horror as it saw its torso separate from its upper body. John ran for cover as the creature's evil blood flew over the Park of Seasons, causing a hissing sound as it hit ground, leaving a putrid odor. The creature's upper fell to the ground with an unceremonious flump. The Dark One's magic left the body of the creature and sailed into the air and away from the earth. A decomposed boar was all that remained of the creature.
John looked at the poor creature sadly. So the Dark One used evil magic on the earth's creatures for his own personal gain. How very sad. John's reverie was soon interrupted, however, by Melinda's screams. "John! Help! Oh, it burns.." It seems that Melinda had not left, after all. He ran to her side and looked at her leg, which bled with an evil infection. The brute's tainted blood had hit her leg, poisoning her.
"Melinda.." John sad sadly, running his hand through her hair. "I'm sorry I dragged you into this."
"I guess there's more to you than meets the eye, Jonathan Seeleheilt," Melinda managed between gasps of pain.
Cor felt a cool sponge being ran over his face. The old mage was looking down at him, smiling kindly. "It is done, my son. Our task was successful. We broke the Dark One's link, and saved our brave bard." The joyful musician was accompanying a very loud, rowdy drinking song as his joy reached unknown heights.
Their attention was soon diverted from the happy group as they noticed Lifeshied begin to throb a light green. The mage grabbed Cor's hand and pulled him up. "We must go! Now!" They ran out the door, Cor still out of breath. In their haste, they failed to notice the Cardinal's red cloak hidden behind a tree. The Dark One's servant walked from him hiding place and followed the two weary travellers at a safe distance.
His master would be very proud of him, the Cardinal grinned to himself. And his master would not know of his new knowledge. For when his master has made him, when crafting him so excellently, he had given what little kindness was left to cloak the Cardinal's evil exterior, fooling the willfully blind. The Cardinal was the Dark One's spawn, yet it had its own thoughts. Lost in his thoughts, the Cardinal noticed almost too late that the two travellers had sped far ahead of him. He rushed to catch up with them.
Cor's teacher muttered under his breath, "Be wary, my son. We are being followed. We much reason the Grove of Seasons before it is to late." Cornelius nodded, and began to run. Panting heavily, Cor's teacher gasped, "Prepare Lifeshield for the journey!"
The Cardinal realized that they were running. Either they were on to him, or something was vastly wrong. The Cardinal hoped for the latter. In a moment's breath, the Cardinal found himself on the ground, blinking in confusion. Before him was the land where no one dared trod: the grove and forest of death. Yet he must trod, for those two fools were running into it at a mad pace. The Cardinal pressed his hands forward and felt a solid force before him, almost as if he were touching a wall. The Cardinal growled in anger. Those creatures had erected a shield to protect them from him and his mighty master!
The Cardinal knew what he must do.