Chapter Four

Chapter Four

A Chapter by R.G. Bennet
"

Fourth installment of Nyrien and the Secret Realm

"

Baldwin, who had been silently observing once more, nodded and followed Tess out the door.  Nyrien watched as the three dark figures made their way out to the garage and couldn’t help but shoot an anxious glance up at Rakahn.  He stepped forward and embraced her firmly, knowing exactly what was going through her mind at this moment.  Soon, they heard the roar of an engine and saw two gloriously bright beams of light speed off in the Armsrac direction.  Nyrien and Rakahn stood there, silently acknowledging that if something went wrong, this could very well be the last time they would ever see their friends.  In fact, if something went wrong, it could very well mean the end of the Realm as they knew it.

*******

   Midnight came and went.  The others had been gone for nearly four hours now, or had it only been that long?  To the three figures inside the green and white house, one staring out the window, one gazing at the wall, and the other with his head in his hands, it seemed like an eternity since the others had left.  Nyrien peered out at the luminous full moon and tried not to dwell on the situation.  She scoffed at Tess’s parting words.  Easier said than done, Tess, easier said than done.  How could she not think about it?  How could she not worry about what was happening right now….had they already completed the phases?  Had they gotten past the monstrosity in the fourth phase?  Had they been unsuccessful? What if they had been too late?  Had the Dark Ones already fit the key into the Diamond?  Was Tess even alive at this point?  And what about Rapid?  And Shannon?  Had they made it out?  Were they on their way back right now?

    Baldwin continued his steady gaze at the wall.  He had been uncharacteristically silent since they had started discussing the Diamond.  Nyrien turned from her window to observe the burly figure.  With a pang of sympathy, she realized that he must be worried about Tess more than anything else.  Baldwin had known Tess since she was four years old.  He had been visiting his best friend, Merca, on a particularly chilly winter evening when she told him about the magical little child she had found freezing in a tiny dugout the previous morning.  “Amethyst”, Merca had described the child to Baldwin, “Everything amethyst,” : her hair, her eyes, her little fingernails, the butterfly-shaped mark above her left shoulder blade, and even the faint glow of magic she had used to try to keep herself warm.  Merca had named the child Tessamyra, after Jesamyrine, the still-born babe she had lost shortly after her husband’s death a few months prior.  During the conversation, little Tess padded from her bedroom to get a closer look at the brawny teenager, whose booming laughter had woken her from her sleep.  Upon seeing the sleepy-eyed little girl, Baldwin was in immediate raptures, and since then, the two of them had become very good friends.  In fact, most of the weapon-handling and mechanical skills Tess had, she had learned from Baldwin.  

    Merca miraculously later discovered two little babes abandoned near a creek, a few years after finding Tess, and named them Laevin and Vorsun, although she affectionately termed them Rapid and Random from the time of their infancy. The twins, however, were not as close to Baldwin as Tess was, due to the fact that they had been terrified by his sheer size for the first five years of their lives. Nyrien sighed as she realized how devastated Baldwin would be if something happened to Tess.  In many ways, she was like a little sister to him.  Of course, Baldwin must have been terribly worried about Shannon as well, though they had not gotten as much time to develop a bond similar to the one Baldwin had with Tess.  He had told Nyrien earlier that he had not known Shane was his cousin until recently.  She had been born in Ireland, not Australia, and had been brought into the Realm when she was eight years old.  He only found out about her when he went to the General Missions Organizations conference the previous year.

    Nyrien glanced across at Rakahn, whose head had sunk even lower into his cupped hands, his fingertips pushing against his dark chocolaty bangs so that the hair splayed out at odd angles.  She could imagine that Rakahn would be mostly worried about Tess as well, as he was still very much in love with her. Tess did not seem to return his sentiments, but Nyrien swore that a few times she had seen Tess smile sweetly at Rakahn before quickly averting her gaze.  Nyrien had decided to mention none of this to her friend though, lest he get his hopes up.  Her attention turned back towards the mission, and she gazed once more out the window, hoping that the worst had been avoided, hoping that her friends had miraculously managed to secure the Diamond before the key had been fitted.  Hoping that the Diamond could finally be destroyed and the threat of malice would no longer hang over the Realm.  Hoping that….

    But she never finished that particular thought, as two bright beams of light suddenly burst from the darkness at an insane speed " advancing towards the house until they stopped just a few yards away from the gate.  Baldwin snapped out of his trance, Rakahn sharply raised his head, and Nyrien’s heart skipped a beat as she watched a figure emerge from the dark car and dart towards the front door.  One second later, a pale, gangly looking teenager with chin-length turquoise hair and solemn gray eyes burst into the living room.  From the way his cheeks flushed and his chest heaved with short, quick breaths, Nyrien guessed that Rapid had done a lot of running that night.  And from the look on his face, there would be a lot more to come.  Baldwin was up from his chair in a flash.

   “What-,”

   “No time to explain,” Rapid quickly cut across, “We need to get out of here. Now.”

   And before Nyrien knew what was happening, she was in Rapid’s arms, breezing out the door, across the yard and landed unceremoniously onto the soft leather backseat of the Xerich.  Seconds later, Rakahn landed next to her with a soft thud.  It took a little longer for Baldwin to arrive though, as Rapid had no chance whatsoever of being able to lift the hefty man.  They both sprinted (at least it was a sprint for Baldwin) across the yard and hastily climbed into the backseat with Nyrien and Rakahn. It was fortunate that Baldwin had thought to make the Xerich roomy, as no ordinary car would be able to hold the four individuals in such a way that each still had a little spaced to maneuver.  After they were safely strapped in, Tess floored the accelerator and soon the lights of Baldwin’s house were tiny dots in the distance.

   “Uh, forgive me guys, but what the heck is going on?” Nyrien asked as soon as she was able to settle her thoughts.  Shannon turned in her seat to face her.

   “Oh, the usual. Good news, bad news….”

   “Please give me the good news first,” Rakahn requested in a strained voice.

   “Well the good news,” Tess answered, “is that we safely secured the Diamond.”

There was a brief collective sigh from Nyrien, Rakahn and Baldwin before Nyrien asked warily “And the bad?”

   “Well,” Rapid responded, “just take a look behind us and you’ll have your answer.”

   Sure enough, as they turned to look out the back window, at least six pairs of lights could be seen in the far distance, gaining at a considerable pace.  However, this was not what held their attention.  High above the pursuing vehicles was an ominously huge shape - black and terrifying against the night with vast wings, dipping and rising so rhythmically that it could have been described as graceful had it not been so frightening.

At first there was utter silence as they mentally whispered a silent prayer that this thing was not what they thought it was.  But then they saw a brilliant jet of flame erupt from the center of the figure, and had no choice but to assume the worst.

  “No…”

  “It can’t be…”

  “How the heck did they get a dragon?!” Rakahn swore, stabbing the reality of the situation even further in.

   “Blimey!” Baldwin gasped in shock.

   “We don’t know how.  We didn’t exactly get the chance to find out.  All we know is that they have it, and it’s headed our way,” Tess responded calmly from the driver’s seat. 

   “Is that what was in the fourth phase?” Nyrien asked her.

   “No…genetically enhanced manticore…,” this time Tess’ voice shook slightly.

 More gasps.

   “I know. My power…it did nothing to it. Not even in the slightest.  If Rapid hadn’t been there to race us into the next room…”

  “Talk about something else, Tess,” Rapid clearly did not want to recall the encounter with the lethal mythological creature.

  “Anyway, we escaped with the Diamond, but not before the King found out about it and sent his entire guard, the modern one if you please, and the blasted dragon, after us.”

  “Where’s the Diamond?” Baldwin inquired.

  “I told you, we have it.”

  “Why did you come for us before you destroyed it?” Nyrien fired at Tess, “there are forests all over the place. You could have just picked one and destroyed it while you still had the chance!”

Tess nodded grimly.  It was true " all they had to do to destroy the Diamond was find a clearing in a forest, dig a shallow, impermeable hole in the ground, fill it with pure water, and drop the Diamond in it, uttering the ancient words that had brought it into existence in the first place.  The Diamond would dissolve and the threat would be eliminated forever.  But there was one factor that Tess, Rapid and Shannon had not foreseen.  This factor Tess now delivered bluntly to the unsettled Nyrien. 

   “Rakahn has to be the one to destroy the Diamond.”

 Silence.

   “Say what?” came a voice weakly from the backseat.  Rakahn stared at the back of Tess’ head in disbelief. 

   “We tried to destroy the Diamond in a forest just east of Heirem; we had deposited it in the ground and everything.  As soon as I started saying the words, however, I got a vision and realized that we were doing the wrong thing.  I thought the Diamond only had to be destroyed by the last person to touch it.  However, in truth, the first thing that came to me was that the Diamond can only be destroyed by someone with no malice in their hearts.”

   “Then you should have been able to destroy it Tess…” Nyrien said cautiously, refusing to believe the insinuation behind those words.

   “Let me finish, Nix,” Tess replied calmly, “Anyway, second of all, the Diamond cannot be destroyed by someone magical.  Call it a humility factor if you will.  And before you ask why Shannon, as a human, couldn’t have destroyed it, it came to me that the Diamond has to be destroyed by a male. And before you ask why Baldwin can’t do it, apparently it can only be destroyed by someone who has delivered it from evil intention.”

  “Wait, slow down…so what you’re saying is that the Diamond has to be destroyed by the last non-magical pure-hearted male to deliver it from evil?” Nyrien paraphrased.

   “That’s exactly it.” 

   “That has got to be the dumbest crap I’ve ever heard in my life.”

Tess was right nevertheless. During the last Diamond Operation, Nyrien had been on the point of seizing the Diamond when she was shot unconscious, leaving Rakahn to return fire, grab the Diamond, and carry her to safety.  It was all coming back to them now.

   “Didn’t Rapid touch it when you got past the manticore?” Nyrien was still trying to figure the situation out.

   “No, I was the one who retrieved it.  At the time I was not aware of the restricting enchantments upon the Diamond or of course I would have had him take it.  Of course, once I had touched it, he could not have any chance of destroying it.  Since I had already had it in my possession, he would not have been taking it from evil.” Tess informed.

  “Who makes all of this stuff up anyway?” Nyrien grumbled.

She was clearly frustrated that they were so close to being rid of a threat, only to have technical errors, albeit enchanted ones, get in the way.

  “That doesn’t matter right now. All that matters is that Rakahn destroys the Diamond.”

   “I don’t even know the ancient words…” Rakahn stated quietly as he realized that, technically speaking, he was the one person at that instant able to destroy the biggest threat to the Realm since the Phelian age.

  “You’ll just repeat after me,” Tess replied in an encouraging tone.

  “Uh…people, they’re gaining…” Rapid announced nervously.

Five heads whipped around once more to take in the pursuit.  There were now nine pairs of lights coming after them, definitely closer this time.  As to the dragon, it was nowhere in sight. Was that a good thing or a bad thing, they wondered?

At that instant, they heard a deafening roar above them.

Definitely a bad thing.

   Tess floored the Xerich into another burst of acceleration and they quickly diverted left into a dense cluster of trees, losing the dragon briefly.  Nyrien couldn’t believe they were not hitting a single tree, given the speed at which they were going. It was then that she began to take more notice of her surroundings.

    “Uh, Tess? You do know which forest we’re going into right?” She inquired a little shakily. 

    “Nyrien, now is clearly not the time for that nonsense.” Tess replied shortly, focusing on maneuvering through the forest.

   “What nonsense?” Rakahn was at a loss.

   “Rakahn, don’t you remember? This is the Venkuld forest; years ago, people started disappearing, never to be seen again.  And they all happened to be in this very forest when they disappeared.”

“Tcha,” Tess scoffed.

Baldwin chuckled.

   The light mood was broken however, when Baldwin’s gaze turned towards the lights under the dashboard and he suddenly spoke in a grave voice.

   “We’ve got to get out now.” His expression was grim.

This was probably not the best thing to mention, what with Tess driving at break-neck speed, whipping through the forest as if their lives depended on it, which was exactly the case.  Rakahn responded first. 

  “Uh, Baldwin? In case you haven’t notice, we’re trying to escape a full grown dragon here okay? And if that doesn’t mean much to you, we’re going at like 500 miles an hour. We can’t exactly jump out-,”

   “Tess, brakes. Now.” Baldwin cut across, a definite note of panic starting to permeate his suave accent.

   “But-,” Tess protested.

   “NOW TESS! I’ll explain later. Brake NOW!”

There was a brief chaotic moment as the Xerich lurched forward with a terrible screech and veered wildly towards a nearby tree. The vehicle miraculously stopped just inches short however.  The team had no time to breathe their sighs of relief as Baldwin yelled “EVERYONE OUT, NOW!!”

They had just managed to run a short distance when the Xerich suddenly exploded into furious flames. Instinctively they all hit the ground, shielding their heads.

   “What the-,”

  “RUN!” Rakahn yelled as he pulled Nyrien to her feet.  The group had hardly had any time to react to nearly getting blown to atomic proportions before they heard the overhead flapping of wings and the roar of engines close by.

   “Where’s the Diamond?” Tess yelled anxiously. 

   “I’ve got it!” Shannon confirmed.

   “Let’s GO!” Rakahn bellowed, already breaking into a sprint towards a river ahead. The others quickly followed, channeling all their strength and focus into their running.

   Not having a vehicle presented quite a daunting prospect, considering who and what they were being chased by.  Of course, Rapid was first to arrive at the river. He stood right above the bank, glancing down at the violent rush of water beyond which stood an impenetrable blackness on the opposite bank.  He swallowed. The others soon came to a halt around him and they all turned to check the progress of the pursuit.  Things did not look good.  Beyond the billowing flames that now engulfed the Xerich, they could see headlights fast approaching.  Tess quickly turned to Rakahn, her expression urgent.

   “You’ve got to destroy the Diamond. NOW!” She dropped to her knees and started pawing the earth desperately, forgetting that she could easily use her magic to dig the hole.

   “Tess, we don’t have time!” Nyrien grabbed Tess’s wrist and tried to pull her up.

The headlights were getting closer.

   “Nyrien’s right! We’ve got to make a run for it!” Shannon cried.

   “But we’ve got nowhere to go! I mean, look!” Rapid gestured wildly to the river ahead.

   “We have to cross,” Baldwin concluded bluntly.

   “Are you INSANE?!”

   “Baldwin, Rapid’s right, the water’s too rough " we’ll be swept away!”

   “Lass, we ayn’t got no choice!”

   “I’m siding with Baldwin on this one!” Rakahn looked at Nyrien and Rapid, “If we get caught, we’re definitely going to die. If we try to cross, the current could sweep us away, but there’s a chance we could survive. Small chance, but I don’t care. I’d rather drown then let them catch me. And in any case, it’s better for the Diamond to get swept away with me than to let them take it.”

The others didn’t get time to respond to Rakahn, however, as the air was suddenly filled with whizzing bullets, one grazing past Tess’s left ear.  Their pursuers were now a few hundred feet away.

   “We are SO going to die!” Nyrien cursed furiously.

   “Not yet, we’re not. Let’s MOVE!” Rakahn yelled for the second time that night. Not wasting anymore time on deliberation, the group was seized by reckless self-preservation and raced down the sloping bank of the river.  They paused very briefly before the inexorably rushing waves of water.  Without saying a word, they one by one took each other’s hands, bracing themselves for the jump.  In that moment, death behind and before them, their faces carried expressions of fearful uncertainty. Nyrien silently regretted not saying what had been on her mind for the past few weeks. But there was no time for that now. They jumped.

And then it happened.



© 2012 R.G. Bennet


Author's Note

R.G. Bennet
Be harsh on this one, if needed. Again, I'm trying to edit and shape these up so I can hopefully develop them into a finished book. If you see something you don't like, or doesn't make sense, let me know. But if you see things you like, by all means, mention those too. Any sort of feedback would be welcome.

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AK
I think it is fine. Not much left to critique, lol. On this piece I would suggest you try to find problems yourself as it would be much better. Have a great day!

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on April 1, 2012
Last Updated on April 2, 2012
Tags: fantasy, realm, action, chase, forest, dragon


Author

R.G. Bennet
R.G. Bennet

DFW, TX



About
I'm a college student who has been in love with reading and writing from a very young age. Books have always been an escape for me, my constant companions, the characters my best friends, their world .. more..

Writing



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