Hi everyone. Here's chapter 8. Please email me your comments!! They really let me know whether or not this work is worth the effort. You can also view my webpage at http://spiffy_psycho.tripod.com. 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

Chapter 8

"We must find him," bellowed the new captain of the riders. "The great Mørkt has seen that this wicked Roland has attempted to murder our great king! And while he is in weakness! Find him, and double rations will be supplied to him that finds him!"

The Cardinal observed the bumbling fools angrily from him room. Anyone could avoid them with that racket! The only way to gain power within the Dark One's eyes was to capture this human, the Cardinal convinced himself. But he musn't let Servio know of this. Left hand man of the Dark One or not, he would try to steal the Cardinal's moment of glory. He would become more than his humble beginnings: a mere red herring. Oh no, he would rule by the side of his great lord! Not a servant, but an equal. He smiled to himself. How very clever I am.

The captain ran his horse and troops hard. He wanted to impress the good Cardinal. He could see that Mørkt Servio's power was slipping. And he would not suffer the fate of the previous captain. He knew the Cardinal was a powerful man, and the right cohort could help him secure the throne. Who better than Captain Alexander? He would find this Roland. And God had decreed that he must find him. He knew that God would save him from all sins. Because murder in the name of God was good. It was just.

I once met a traveller walking down the road
Who said his name was Roland!
I once met a traveller prancing down the road
With the silly name of Roland.

He was not pure, he was not wise.
He hailed not his Papa.
He never spoke and never dreamed
The journey t'was in store.

A-Roland, A-Roland.
I met a fool named Roland.
I walked him to the river north
And set him to a southward course!

I once met a traveller swimming in the sea
Who said his name was Venes!
I once met a traveller dancing in the breeze
With the foolish name of Venes!

He was not pure, he was not wise.
He hailed not his Papa.
He never spoke and never dreamed
The journey t'was in store.

O-Venes, O-Venes,
I met the fisher Venes.
I took him all around the world
Until he gobbled up a pearl!

A-Roland, O-Venes,
Two silly names I sing!
I took them to another land
And found they both were rather bland!

A-Roland, A-Roland,
Wish he'd cut his hair!
O-Venes, O-Venes
Emerge from your fishy lair!

Mahou still grinned, healing the forests as he walked along the country of Frivesland, singing the silly songs of his youth to himself. But he paused in his step. Something was wrong: he could sense it. He noticed an elderly gentleman travelling quietly down the road, paranoid of his every step. His shoulder-length hair seemed to always get in his way as he quietly sauntered down the road. He was a peculiar fellow with his earth-brown cloak covering his sweating body on this warm summer day.

"Hello there!" Mahou called to Roland in his friendly yet accented voice.

Just a block to go, thought Jonathan remorsefully. How he wished that he had not drug his dear friend into this! Of all the people in the world, Melinda is the one person that least deserved any pain. She had brought joy into his life when he had given up everything.

Roger the White stopped in mid-step. He looked searchingly at Cornelius and Jonathan and asked, "Do you sense anything?"

Jonathan closed his eyes and looked a return glance to Roger. "Yes," he replied slowly, "I feel danger, though I do not know why." Roger began to glance around nervously, looking for the source of the danger. A golden-yellow flame appeared before them, and five brutes emerged from the wicked fire. Following the creatures was Stefan, his long dirty blonde hair in a neat ponytail behind his hunter green business suit.

"Ah, how sweet! The two travellers, Master John, and his little.. friend," Stefan said, sneering in a most unkind way. Stefan smirked at the view of Jonathan's violent reaction to seeing a well-known software genius with the brutes of the Dark One. "Allow me to introduce myself," Stefan began again after a dramatic pause, "I am Stefen Jotes, the Right Hand of the Great Dark One, future ruler of this little planet. Worry not, we will fix your little planet. I see great things for you, Master Jonathan. Join us and you will become great."

Roland eyed Mahou suspiciosly. "Who are you?" he asked, scowling. Mahou looked at Roland's pouting face and shrugged, smiling. He whistled a bit and danced around the grumpy Friveslander. Mahou, still grinning broadly, jumped up and kissed Roland on the cheek. Roland cried "yuck!" in response, wiping the kiss from his cheek. Mahou giggled and threw a seed onto the ground. A rose sprang up in full bloom.

"Silly man," Mahou finally replied, "I am here to fix what you have ruined." Roland peered at the short and stout foreigner curiously. He was, to say the least, very unusual. "Allow me to introduce myself. I am Mahou Ichida, one of the last Woodsmages of Serlatùn. Such a beautiful country it is, with waterfalls higher than the sky itself, surrounded by the most lucious green hills and flowers of the deepest hue! My ancestors smile down upon me, I know. They speak to me and tell me what is right and good."

"Well, you know what they say about hearing voices in your head," Roland cut in.

"As I was saying," continued Mahou, unfazed, "I do what the spirits ask of me. And so here I am. And here are you."

"Sounds awfully.. inconvenient to me!"

"You Friveslanders are such a picky bunch! Tut, tut. But since we have met, Roland-"

"How did you know my name?" Roland again interrupted.

"Since we have met, we must be on our way."

"I can't be on anyone's way but my own! I am to meet the Wizard of.."

Roland's words were soon cut off as both parties notices a troup of black Riders galloping madly throughout the land, in search of..

"Find the man named Roland and slay him!" Roland and Mahou exchanged a quick glance and ran into the forest.

"You killed my Steven. Why should I join you?" John coldly replied.

Stefan shrugged carelessly. "You had no need of him, anyway. But if you won't join me, I shall have to kill you all." John raced towards Stefen and angrily swung Demonsdeath at him. To say the least, Jonathan was a little surprised when he found that he swung through Stefen and hit nothing. "Silly man. You think I'd endanger myself by facing four to one? This is but a shadow of my existence, a copy of my image. But I shall show you who is really here." With that, Stefen snapped his fingers, and the brutes began to attack. Stefan's echo carelessly walked through the brutes and over to Melinda's pale body, still held by Cornelius and Roger's ashen hands. "So beautiful she is.. or was.." With a loud crack, Melinda's head twisted into an unnatural position. Her lifeless body fell into a heap as Cornelius and Roger retreated in shock at the animalistic act. "So much for the light," Stefen smirked to himself.

Roger shook his head and regained his senses. "Cornelius! You must aid your anam cathram!" And I have to keep you two from killing each other, he thought remorsefully. The brutes surrounded Jonathan and were viciously attacking him from all angles with their various weapons. They grumbled about revenge for their comarade. The shortest of the brutes attacked more fiercely than the rest. It held a wooden bo and was hitting the butt end of his instrument into John's stomach. Next to that was a fat creature, a mixture between a warthog and the typical stereotype of a police officer. In the center of the violent orgy was its leader. It wore a black reflective helmet with a sharp point down its center. The creature was so unearthly that Cornelius found it defied description. Its armor was accented by razor sharp claws curling in all direction, causing painful damage to anyone that was near it. The remaining two creatures reflected the first two creatures on the leader's right side. John had fallen into a fetal position to cover what was left of his uninjured body.

"Oi!" shouted Cornelius, grabbing the abusers' attentions. "Get away from him!" The leader hissed kill it! and its underlings walked menacingly towards the wizard and his trainee. "Heal yourself John.. You have the gift," Cornelius said quietly, calling John by his name finally. "Are you ready?" Cor asked, quaking with fear, to Roger the White. Roger's eyes met Cornelius' and they knew what to do. Equal the energy. "This is one of the moments with no time to recharge, I see," he said almost to himself. Lifeshield spoke to the youth and Cornelius followed the command. He raised the object and hailed the Wind, asking for its help. The Wind blew, forcing the wicked creatures to back away.

"It seems that your people are having some problems," the Dark One chortled at the Goddess.

"You have already lost one, fool. You shall not take my land from me."

"Wench, it has already begun."

"Your minions will tire of your control and revolt against you. This is not your galaxy. Go back," the Goddess pressed on.

"It will no longer be your galaxy. It will belong to me."

"We will be safe here," Mahou whispered to Roland, as they crouched in the forest. The Riders continued their running, searching for Roland. The fresh soil was now spoilt by the violent mark of horsehoofs, mud splashing in the air from rough riding. As Mahou kneeled silently, contemplating the next move of the Dark One, Roland spotted something out of the corner of his eye.

The Cardinal was wearing his typical scarlet robe, which had saved his wicked skin many times. Sweat dripped from his forehead. Now that he knew the secret of the light, he could destroy their source of power. The torch that he held in his hand scalded his fingers as it crackled and popped on the animal fat. He could normally see fine by moonlight, but tonight's mission required this cumbersome device. He scrutinized the moon through his blood red and orange seething flame for moment, deep in throught. "Yes," he said to himself, "He will be my equal. I will bide my time, and then overtake him. He will have to, for I posess a knowledge greater than he can fathom." Smiling inwardly, the Cardinal continued on into the Grove of Seasons.

"Mahou," Roland urgently whispered. "Look! The Cardinal is in the forest of death!"

Mahou observed the forest and shook his head. "No, that land is filled with the Wild Magic."

"The Wild Magic," Roland repeated, in awe. There was something beyond human scope about the phrase. The Cardinal was hurrying deep into the magical wood. Buy why?

"Oh yes, Master, you shall make me your equal. Or I'll become your master. Ah, that would be wonderful." The Cardinal continued to mutter his own personal fantasies to himself. Then he reached the tree. It stood before him, strong, silent and defiant. "Think you're so bloody brilliant, all of you!" the Cardinal shouted, looking from tree to tree. "But I will control all of you soon. And you will bow!" The Cardinal shook his head, escaping his reverie and looked up at his torch. "Let's see how invincible you are now!" With that, the Cardinal thrust his torch into the ground as he collected leaves and twigs and placed them deliberately around the trunk of the Tree of the Seasons.

"Good gods, Mahou! Do you see--"

"Yes," Roland's companion replied sadly, "He is raping the Wild Magic. Should we stop him?" Mahou looked cautiously at Roland's mad gaze.

"You idiot! Should we. SHOULD WE?! Isn't it obvious?! Come on!" Roland burst into a careless run as he persued the Cardinal.

Having collected all the necessary items, the Cardinal carefully lit the small twigs, which quickly caught fire. Less than a minute later, the base of the trunk was burning lazily. The Cardinal nodded to himself happily. "Yes, I am far too clever for the Dark One. He will have to make me his equal."

Roger the White screamed in pain. He retreated quickly from the two brutes attacking him to massage his throbbing temple. "What's wrong?" Cor asked breathily, attacking two brutes of his own.

John was moments from death, warily trying to battle the leader of the brutes. His black helmet reflected the streetlights menacingly. "It would be so easy to join the Dark One, boy. Just give us Demonsdeath, and all will be well. You can have your little Steven back. It would be so easy. You don't have to cause all this pain. Look at all the destruction you've caused with your arrogance and subbornness. It's all your doing, boy."

John glared at the beast, and though unaware, began to charge his Magepower. He pulled all of his physical and mental pain and tucked it into a tight ball of anguish. John thrust his hand and pressed it onto the leader's forehead, releasing the fury. Unaccustomed to the receiving end of carnage, the creature bellowed from the pain of death and brutal attacks. It echoed John's earlier fetal position. Gasping for breath, John stood up, lifted up Demonsdeath and hit the creature's head with the butt of his object. The creature was knocked out cold.

After releasing his pain, John blinked his eyes in amazement. His strength had been restored. The pain no longer controlled him. Glancing around, he noticed the four brutes slowly advancing upon that beautiful boy - funny how he hadn't noticed that before - and Roger the White. "Boy!" Cor looked around immeditely and noticed the brutes. "I'll be right there!" John raced towards the overburdened boy and immediately began attacking the brutes. "What's wrong with Roger, boy," John quickly asked between metallic clangs and whooshing air as one brute's bo flew towards him.

"He said something of the Tree of Seasons.. he said it was under attack." John nodded in comprehension moments before he kicked the knee of one of the smaller creatures. It was knocked back, and swayed clumsily in the road. It fell down in a confused heap in the middle of the road. The other brute attacking John watched its companion fall down, and was greeted by a quick metallic smack on the side of its head. Its eyes rolled up the sky and fell into a head on the ground.

"Help me, Sir!" Cor cried as his two brutes were almost done overtaking him.

"Away from my boy," bellowed John, pulling in Magepower, and thrusting Demonsdeath through the taller creature's bowels. It howled a shrill, inhuman scream as it collapsed. John's eyes flickered quickly to the remaining brute, nashing his teeth. "Get.. away," John's infuriated, almost unwordly voice growled. The brute snarled in return and thrust its wicked weapon into Cor. John howled a battle cry and swung his object across the creature's neck, giving it a very light headed experience. He punched the still standing, yet headless body in the chest. It joined its companions on the ground. "My sweet boy," John said, running his blood stained hands down Cor's cheeks with concern, "are you all right?"

"I am now," he replied, clutching John. "Let's go home." Then Cor sadly glanced down at Roger. "My Lord, I do not know if he lives.. his cry was the cry of such suffering, such death..."

"I know, my boy," John said, "I know." John stared at the black pavement deep in thought. "Where to go now. If only I knew how to move to your circle."

The fire was burning nicely. The Cardinal sat on the ground, Indian style, watching the fire as if he were watching a display of fireworks. "So much for the light," he snickered to himself. His joyful gloating was soon interrupted, however. He was roughly pulled up and shoved against a tree. Its Wild Magic singed his wicked skin. "You monster, how could you!" screamed Roland, enraged. "I should kill you where you stand. Son of god my arse!" With that the Cardinal received a sucker punch. The Dark One's most wicked creation bent over, clutching his stomach in pain. "You took my son from me! You bastard! And I believed you! Such a fool am I," Roland sadly repented.

Mahou came over and laid his hand of Roland's sholder. "It will do no good, my son. We much repair what we can. Let him go." Roland eyed Mahou madly, as if to say, but he'll escape!, but Mahou continued: "Anyway, he is not going anywhere." The cheerful little man sprinkled some seeds near the Cardinal's feet. Thick ivy immediately curled around his feet and snaked up his entire body, covering him with an unbreakable fauna chain.

Mahou then walked over to the Tree of Seasons and stomped on the burning root, extinguishing the flame. Then he knelt down and began to apply a finely ground powder around the well-charred root. "Oh beautiful tree! How could he do such things to you? Your age and wisdom are endless. My ancestors have known of your greatness, even in this backward land. Hmph, Frivesland, the great land indeed. Not a damn is given for the world our Ancestors made!" Mahou shook his head sadly, but smiled again and said to himself, "but that's all right. We'll fix you up, great tree!"

While Mahou and Roland's attentions were diverted, the Cardinal extracted a knife from his robe and began to slice the ivy off of his body. Panting with exertion, he was finally able to remove the last clinging vince. He quietly escaped the two travellers, deep in concentration. These two would pay dearly for their insult!

The Cardinal was very annoyed.