Chapter 16 - The Wielders

Chapter 16 - The Wielders

A Chapter by Nataliya Maize

            With night already fallen, and the under glow of a full moon, Keira tossed and turned from beneath the cover of a large empty tent. The promising chill of a cold night’s breeze creeping in through the cracks and crevasses of several open seams. She wrapped her legs tightly in several thick blankets, pulling her knees into her chest in an attempt to gain warmth.

 

            Over head the startling sound of a hooting owl, in the distance the whaling cry of a wolf, and from outside her quarters the brittle snapping of a soldier’s foot crushing upon a bed of pine needles and dry leaves as he patrolled the camp.

 

            Stiff jointed and slightly shivering, Keira raised her eyes towards the rooftop, studying the shadowy images of claw like fingers stretching across the width of her tent. “Tree branches” she told herself, “now go to sleep”, and as she tried to close her eyes and let her mind float adrift there was the penetrating shrill of metal grazing against metal, piercing through the curtain of an eerie silence. Shaken to the core Keira raised herself to her feet, pulling back a tiny slit of the tent’s fabric as she searched for the source of the sound.

 

            But to her relief sat the moonlit figure of a solider sharpening his sword outside the entrance of a tent across from her.

 

            Huff!” she sighed. “At this rate I’ll never get any sleep.” She clambered around the tent searching for her cloak and shoes, throwing them on as she hurried to escape from the eerie quarter’s of her confinement. Scampering off into the night without the thought to take notice of her direction, she collided into the body an of unknown man.

 

            Uhmf! Owww!” the man he cried.  His body laid flat upon the hard solid ground.

 

            “Oh, oh god! I am so sorry! she cried cuffing her hands around her mouth. “Here... let me...” she extended an arm but the man had already bounced up to his feet dusting himself off.

 

            “No, really... I’m ok..” he smirked.

 

            “Oh, I am so sorry! How embarrassing, I wasn’t really watching where I was going, I just heard this...”

 

            “Seriously. It’s really -it’s okay, look!” the man threw out his arms and smiled as he danced in a semi-circle pointing to his unscathed body. “See, no bruises, not even a scratch.” he extended an arm. “I’m Narinor.” he greeted. He was handsome, a tall young man with thick brown wavy locks, angular features, and deep emerald and blue eyes. Keira noticed as his ears where slightly inhuman, pointed at the tips. She tried to divert her attention without letting him notice but he was too quick to catch her gaze.

 

            “Elven.” he replied shyly, running his hands through his hair.

 

            “I’m sorry.” she sighed in embarrassment.

 

            “Nah, it’s ok.” he smiled graciously.

 

            “It’s just... I’ve never seen...” she sighed again, a blush of red rushing to her cheeks. “Hi, I’m Kei...”

 

            “Keira.” he interrupted. “Yeah... I um... you’re the one they’re all talking about? The Keeper right?”

 

            “Oh...yeah.” she glanced away tucking her hair behind her ears. “That would be me I guess.” The words felt awkward for her to hear, let alone to agree to.

 

            “They kinda told us about you before we departed. Must be a lot of pressure for you huh? I’m... I’m sorry to hear about your... “ he paused for a moment stopping himself before continuing. “Situation.” he nodded slightly.

 

            “Hmm...” she pressed her lips together. “Yeah... not exactly the outcome one would have hoped for.” She glanced down towards the ground, a slight grimace occupying the place where there once stood a smile as she felt the guilt slowly sinking in again.

 

            “Yeah, sooo... hey... since you’re up.” he gestured with a hand. “Would you like to join me and come meet a few friends of mine? They’re harmless really.”

 

            “Uhh...” she hesitated momentarily.

 

            “I promise, they won’t bite.” he smiled. “But it might be nice to take your mind off a few things for a while... if you know what I mean.” he nodded.

 

            “Really?” she asked softly. “Yeah... sure... I’d like that.”

 

#

 

            As they reached the tent Keira noticed that its size tripled that of her own; seeming large enough to house the entirety of the camp. From outside she watched as the visible glow of strange illuminating lights flickered, her curiosity answered as they entered and saw several solid rotating orbs hovering effortlessly around the perimeter. Each flame encapsulated within its own sphere. Keira gawked in awe, it was mystifying to say the least.

 

            But a magic that was only amplified as she saw the inhuman figures of two bickering men in the midst of the tent. To the far back corner, a short, stout, and stocky round dwarf, with long chocolate-colored hair, and a long braided beard. In the mid, a tall wiry man, with light brownish-blond hair, olive toned skin, and brilliant amber-gold eyes, and to the left, sitting upon a bench of a long wooden stool, the delicate figure of a small lean women. Her features beautifully defined and statuesque, long, braided blue-black hair draping down the mid of her back, with skin the most beautiful shade of show white and opalescent blue. She was angelic, and other than Maedoc, she was unlike anything Keira had ever seen before. Her deep blue and cerulean colored eyes piercing with an extreme intensity, that Keira couldn’t help but feel as if she had walked into a dream world was no possibility of waking from.

 

            “You cheated!” her thoughts interrupted by the shouting accusation of the dwarf.

 

            “I did not!” Demanded the blond haired man. “Besides, the whole point of the duel was to test out your abilities, I... was merely helping you! Syl! Back me up here! Wasn’t the whole point of the duel to test out his new powers?!”

 

            “Sorry Bang” she replied sheepishly. “But Demetri’s right. That was the point of the duel.” The woman looked towards the dwarf as if apologetic.

 

            “Pfft.” the dwarf huffed. “I still say he cheated.” he grumbled under his breath.

 

            “Guys.” Narinor interrupted. But they were stick bickering amongst themselves. “GUYS!” Finally, their attention diverted, eyes racing to meet the source of the disturbance. “I wanted to introduce you to someone.” Narinor glanced back towards Keira. “This is Keira.”

           

            “Keira...” Demetri echoed. “Hey... you’re the...”

 

            “Keeper?” She interrupted. “Yeah... probably not what you were expecting though right?”

 

            “Hey... don’t worry about it.” Demetri replied. “It’s not every day you go from being a human to a wielder. Besides, around here, everyone feels that way some time or another. Like ole Bang here!” he shouted turning to meet the dwarf’s gaze with amusement. “He’s just learning how to use his new wind wielding abilities. I’m letting him test them out on me.” Demetri winked, whispering in a lowered tone. “By the way...,” he continued as he walked slowly towards Keira, a single arm extended. “I’m Demetri. That man over there is Bangor!” he pointed. “Or what I like to call him... Bang!” A slight smirk crossing the width of  Demetri’s face as he paused to study the sudden annoyance on the dwarf. “And this lovely lady over here, is Syl.” He pointed in the opposite direction, as the woman smiled with a subtle nod.

           

            “Hey.” Keira smiled back, pressing her lips together in a shy nod.

 

            “Yeah so... Bang...and I were just having a little duel here Narinor!” said Demetri. “Testing out his new abilities. If you want, Keira, you could stay a while and watch, there’s a seat there next to Syl.” 

 

            “Yeah, sure, I guess.” Keira replied, making her way slowly to the open space.

 

            “Hi.” the woman greeted. “It’s nice to finally have another woman aboard, there’s not much of us around these days.” Syl’s words were soft spoken, gentle and warm. Not something Keira was use to, yet she couldn’t help but feel the immediate friendly nature about her that put her in a sense of ease.

           

            “Soo... why aren’t you dueling with them?” asked Keira.

 

            “Mmm...” Syl smiled wickedly. Her deep blue eyes overlooking the men in the distance. “Trust me, it’s more entertaining to watch than it is to join. Although...,” she paused momentarily. “I do admit there are times when it’s more fun to teach them a little lesson or two.” the elf winked, Keira returning her enthusiasm with a sudden outburst of laughter.

 

            Once the men began their duel, Keira and Syl watched as the men took their places. Each Wielder standing off in his own corner of the tent. Demetri to the left, Narinor to the right, and Bangor to the back of the far right corner.

           

            “Come on Narinor, lets teach ole’ Bang here how it’s done.” Demetri smirked.

 

            “Is that really a challenge?” Narinor played along, his eyes lit up with excitement as he joined his friends.

 

            “Pfft, you wish!” the dwarf mocked. “I could take on the both of you with my eyes closed.” he boasted.

 

            Ha! I seriously doubt that friend.” Replied Demetri. “About the only thing we have to watch out for, is your sudden urge to blow wind!”

 

            “Very funny.” The dwarf grumbled as he crouched lower to the floor with a slight grimace of concentration across face; a comical yet unappealing stance.

 

            Ha haa! Look he’s doing it again!” Demetri cried, grabbing his stomach as he pointed in laughter. And with a loud roar of annoyance, Bangor threw out his arms hurling a swirling wave of air towards them and pinning Demetri in the gut against the far wall of the tent.

 

            Narinor dodged the attack as he skidded effortlessly towards the dwarf with layers of buckling, protruding earth folding up from beneath him like an accordion, in an oncoming wave. The dwarf jumped, his solid mass landing upon layers of compressed rock as he twirled and blew a thick ball of dust in Narinor’s direction.

 

            From the left, stood Demetri, his hands engulfed and glowing with the pulsating beat of circular flames catapulting towards Bangor. The dwarf threw up his arms and reflected the blow as it backfired. And like the lash of a whip, Demetri grasped the rope of oncoming flame wrapping it around his arm, as it twisted and turned, stretching across the width of his arms, shoulders, and back and finally releasing towards the tips of his fingers as it shot gunning towards it’s deflector.

 

            Bangor pounded his weight against the girth of the earth, dodging the flames as he held out his arms. His palms flattened as the air motioned around him and spun in a spiraling circle that with brute force shot towards his attacker.

 

            From behind him, and with the swift stillness of a cat, Narinor crept. His hands held out as he summoned blocks of earth and hurled them at the dwarf. Bangor blocked the oncoming stones, his solid hands crushing them with the slightest of ease, as he hurled others towards Demetri.

 

            The rocks crashed into Demetri’s outreached hands, flaring up into burning flames and rich orange-red embers, melting like molten lava as they dissipated into thin air. Demetri took a deep breath as suddenly a large eruption of smoke and fire spiraled menacingly out towards Bangor. The dwarf side stepped the incinerating flame, his hands thrown in defense as he gripped upon a near none existent breeze like a unseen sheet of fabric, fanning the wind and flame in the opposite direction, but as he did, Rozlend had entered the tent and Bangor’s spell blew the oncoming stream of wildfire towards the rooftop, burning a small section of tent. With cat-like reflexes Syl extended her hand, and an immediate stream of rushing water smothered the burning hole and the fire was out.

 

            “Dueling again?” Rozlend smirked.

 

            “Uhh... couldn’t sleep.” The dwarf muttered.

 

            Rrriiight.” Rozlend smiled as he glanced in Keira’s direction. “I was looking for you.”

 

            “Couldn’t sleep.” Keira echoed.

 

            “Care to join us Rozlend?” Asked Demetri.

 

            “Weapons? Or weaponless?” Rozlend grinned.

 

            “Both.” Spoke Narinor. “We’re really just warming up.”

 

            “Three on one?” Asked Rozlend, his eyebrow positioned in a c**k-eyed skew.

 

            Sure! Why not! That’s always fun!” Demetri laughed excitedly.

 

            Rozlend let go a tiny smirk, and within the blink of an eye two double-edged swords unleashed an onslaught of force. Keira watched in awe as her brother moved throughout the maze of men with extreme grace, sliding rhythmically under and over each wave of attack without hindrance. Blocking each Wielder as the force of their element whaled upon him. They danced in slow motion, moving throughout the tent in a semi-circular motion. Rozlend, swinging his sword in various directions with timeless effort, twirling them around in a dizzying matter as he blocked each blow without attacking his attacker. Ever-changing orbs of flashing light raced one after another towards him. Narinor and Demetri had uncovered their wands as Rozlend grasped upon the hilt of his sword solidifying his grip.

           

            More lights whipped out in a cluster, wrapping one against the other in a knot of tangled webs. But Rozlend’s sword had cut through each with the simplest of ease, a marionette released from grip of his master’s hold.

 

            Demetri’s hands outstretched, his one hand flicking his wand as a stream of fire out-poured into midair, the other hand molding the fire like the clay of an unfinished pot, Narinor mirroring the same, while Bangor summoned orb after orb of swirling air and solid earth in Rozlend’s direction.

           

            Rozlend threw out his sword, continuing to block the blows as quickly as they came, and with one hand outstretched towards the Wielders, Keira watched with amazement and wonder as suddenly each man momentarily lost concentration. Their hands grasping the pit of their stomachs tightly, struggling to regain their stance. The energy of their life-force released in a thin near translucent mist of reds, silvers and green, that sucked slowly from hollow of their bellies.

 

            Rozlend tucked his sword into its holster, and in a pause to let the men regain their strength he threw out his hands, and with the force of an unseen tempest came the sudden burst of a shockwave outpouring upon the men in all directions, and tossing them upon their backs like ragdolls. 

 

            While his other hand erupting into a flame of fire and flung in Narinor’s path, was blocked by the sudden mass of thickened earth; the flame reflected, shot-gunning back towards Rozlend. In a tightened grip, he absorbed the flame in one hand, letting it cycle into a tightened rope that hardened, transforming into a thick growing vine that flew from the tips of his fingers, towards Demetri, thickening into several separate ropes that launched with the velocity of snake strike and wrapping him into a tighten cocoon until he fell to the floor immobilized.

 

            Rozlend smirked, as he saw Demetri lying lifelessly, wrapped from jawbone to hip, his entire body nearly covered in twine by a bed of vines, his hands locked into position. And like that, with a sudden outburst of laughter the duel was over.

 

            “Uugggh!” he groaned. “You know... I really... hate it when you do that.” Keira and the others laughed with outstretched hands.

 

            “Nah. I got it.” he mumbled.

 

            And suddenly without warning Demetri’s body had burst into a solid torch of flame. Keira gasped in horror.

 

            “It’s ok!” Syl comforted, as she held Keira back, blocking her path with an arm.

 

            “Aww, that’s better!” he smiled bouncing back to his feet, as he rubbed his hands, amazingly appearing as if untouched.

 

            “Who did you...?”

 

            “Do that? Demetri interrupted Keira. “Nice trick huh?” Maybe I’ll teach you some time.” he winked.

 

            “Not now though.” Rozlend chimed. “Sun ‘al be up soon. Think it’s time we all get a little sleep.”

 

            “Aww... come on! Cried Demetri. “And I was just starting to have some fun!”

 

            “You heard the man.” Syl teased. “It’s time for little boys to get some much needed rest.”

 

            Uhh!” Demetri gawked. “Little?!” I’ll show you who’s little!” he grinned, grasping her around the waist with a kiss.

 

            “Oh will you huh...?” she teased back again.

 

            “Ugh!” the dwarf groaned. “Get a tent!”

 

            “Seriously... some of us would like to keep our food in our stomachs.” Narinor joked, brushing past them both. “Come on.” he smirked at Keira. “I’ll take you back to your tent.”

 

            What?!” cried Demetri in question, as they left.

 

#

 

            Outside the air remained still and chill, only an occasional breeze weaved in through the surrounding pine and oak trees of the forest, the eeriness of Keira’s former discomfort vanishing completely with only a moment of wonder. Slowly Narinor and Keira walked towards her tent. Stealing glances along the way, their eyes caught mistakenly, and Keira flushed; realizing she had once again been sucked into the hypnotic glare of Narinor’s emerald-sapphire gaze.

 

            “Thanks for taking my mind of things.” she managed say, as she released her stare.

 

            “My pleasure.” he replied, the slight hint of a chagrin upon his face.

 

            As they entered the tent she looked back towards him, her gaze catching another glimpse of the mysterious depth of deep emerald, and sapphire blue.

 

            “They’re so... beautiful.” she spoke softly as the whisper escaped her lips.

 

            “What?” he whispered back in a playful ignorance.

 

            A wicked smile stretched across the width of Keira’s mouth mockingly. “I’m sorry.” She flushed again, attempting to look away as she lowered her gaze. “It’s just...”

 

            “Just what?” he whispered once more, his fingers pressing gently against the tip of her chin. She looked back into his eyes, mystified by the pulsating beat of life that dwelled within them. “Do you mind?” She asked carefully, her fingers brushing through the thick locks of chocolate colored hair that crowded his face as she pushed them back behind his ear, tracing the skin of his ear with her finger tips as they grew closer. “So beautiful.” She whispered.

 

            “Only their reflection.” He replied. “I should probably go.” He whispered softly, pulling her hand away slowly.

 

            “You don...” But as the words escaped her mouth Narinor hushed her. “What is it?” she asked.

 

            “I hear something.” he whispered. “Something’s coming.”

 



© 2009 Nataliya Maize


Author's Note

Nataliya Maize
First Draft, tell me what you think.

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I loved it. The intensity is nice.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Again, well done. Dialouge is getting deeper

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on November 18, 2009
Last Updated on November 22, 2009


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Nataliya Maize
Nataliya Maize

Moreno Valley, CA



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- When we were young, and life was different - Check out my websites: My Twitter: http://twitter.com/NMaize A.N.A. Twitter: http://twitter.com/anaw.. more..

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