Welcome to the Slant, where you'll find reviews and original writings by the members of Martin Library's Teen Advisory Board.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sports! by Kara S.


Fish by Emily I.


Crown by Emily I.


Anime Girl by Allen

http://www.yorklibraries.org/Our_Libraries/Martin/Teens/Slant/images/pic by allen h.jpg

The Library Chronicles by Derrick

Note: The Library Chronicles is in manga format and should be read from right to left.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

Meeting With Death

Issue 1

Issue 2

Issue 3

Issue 4

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Uneventful Adventures CK & Blue by Chris B.

Issue 4

Issue 5

Issue 6

Issue 7

Issue 8

Issue 9

Issue 10

Issue 11

Issue 12

Issue 13

Issue 14

Ben Folds and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Review by Mandi I.

by Mandi I.

Abby H. woke me up at 9:50 Wednesday morning. Slightly unhappy I asked her what she wanted. She had an extra ticket to Ben Folds with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. I accepted with undying gratitude (to this day). We met at Boscov’s Parking lot and were on our way to Columbia, Maryland. After fighting traffic and arriving at Meriwether Post Pavilion we took our seats on the Lawn. Walking to get drinks we noticed everyone running to get seats. So we grabbed seats for the rest of our group. Then the concert started. It was amazing. The orchestra played Ben Folds songs along side him amazing piano talent.

So why haven’t you heard of this amazing man? He hasn’t exactly hit the Britney Spears type fame, and we don’t expect him too. He has tracks on the over the hedge sound track as well and his own CDs, and is working on an Orchestral CD much like what we saw.

Ben Folds mixes rock, acoustic, and jazz together to make a new and amazing sound. It’s unlike anything out there right now. He is most diffidently worth checking out. You can see him at www.myspace.com/benfolds, www.benfolds.com, or his bands website www.benfoldsfive.com, and www.myspace.com/benfoldsfive. And pick up the CD!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lois Duncan's Don't Look Behind You Review by Kelsie

April Corrigan is a seventeen year old girl who is very happy living the way she was. She was an excellent tennis player, had a steady boyfriend, and great friends. She was leading a wonderful life until she found out that her father was secretly working for the FBI.

While Mr. Corrigan was attending a trial, someone tried to kill him. That is when her perfect life rapidly fell on its face. She was forced not to play tennis and change her name and location and without letting anyone know who she was or where she was going (even Lorelei her mother’s mother) through the Federal Witness Security Program.

They successfully changed their location, but April lets something slip that totally gives away the family’s secret life. Once the person tracking them down finds out where they are staying, he starts to talk to some of the people who know the Corrigans/Webbers.

I think all of Lois Duncan’s mysteries are great. I also think this book would be loved by almost anyone who reads it.

Shanna Norris' Something to Blog About Review by Alexis

Libby Fawcett. Classic teenager. School, boys, and those mean popular girls that you wish would just go *POOF!*. Now here’s the dramatic twist… She set her hair on fire in front of the whole class, including her crush Seth Jacobs who she’s tutoring in chemistry, the subject she is also failing, and now she finds out her mom is dating the father of her archenemy, Angel Rodriguez. To vent her feelings and anger, Libby starts a secret blog. And let’s just say… it doesn’t stay a secret for long.

I seriously couldn’t put this book down. While things did get predictable at times, it was still very funny. Things kinda were resolved quicker and less complicated than they would have been in real life, making things seem a little too perfect. ‘Something to Blog About’ could have been longer and definitely should have a sequel. This would make a great beach book. Over all, it was fabulous and I can’t wait to see what Shana Norris writes next.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout's Girl V. Boy Review by Alexis

Luisa Perez isn’t really into school spirit. Actually, Luisa and her friends, Rachel and Izzy, take pride in avoiding activities that are labeled “extracurricular”. But, when her school is competing for an extra month of winter vacation and the boys of Dunfield, or as the students call it, ‘Dumpfield’, start competing against the girls, it turns the fundraiser into a ’battle of the sexes’ and Luisa and her friends start to change their minds. When asked to write an anonymous column for her school paper about the girls half, she just has to say yes. One week she’ll write and the next week’s the article will be written by an anonymous reporter for the boys. As time goes on, “Newshound” (Luisa) and “Scoop” (Mystery Man) begin to debate the actions of boys and girls as well as discuss the fundraiser. Who could this new enemy be? Luisa is determined to find out… and the results will shock her.

‘Girl V. Boy’ was an interesting novel. I can say, “Scoop” did start to get on my nerves, while “Newshound” was full of useful advice. I realize I like the girls point of view because well, I’m a girl and that’s sorta was what I was thinking but it was interesting to see a guys take on things. Umm… the only other advice I can give you about this book is don’t read the back because it totally reveals the surprise ending.

One Day With You by Jose

One Day With You

Will be the worst day of my life

and the happiest to remember

One Day With You

Will make all well

One Day with you

My wounds go well

One Day with you

my heart is full

One Day with you

My mind is sane

Once that day is over

It's back to pain

Where my wounds will swell

my heart will stop

my mind loses sanity

When the day is over

I'll await the next one

Untitled by Sebastian

The dinosaurs weren’t killed by a giant meteor, they contracted Anthrax spread by those walking fish things that are now reptiles. They had an underground lab where they found the cure for cancer and how to make gold. Actually, gold never existed before then. It was their creation. After they died, cavemen found the cure for cancer, but fed it to their dogs which made them really strong.

They wanted the world to look cool, so they used their dogs to make the pyramids, Stonehenge, Easter Island, and all those other world wonder things. However, secretly they put little explosive detonators around them all and George Bush knows about it. Actually, a lot of people probably know about it, but he’s the only on that matters because he accidentally set off one of the detonators at the Sphinx when he was looking for Osama bin Laden.

Bush tried to cover it up by getting Dick Cheney to shoot his ‘friend’ while quail hunting. While the people were concerned with that incident, the CIA went about reconstructing the Sphinx’s nose. That poor Pillsbury doughboy sacrificed his life, or had it taken, for Bush's sake. The CIA got Little Debbie and Sara Lee to make sweets with the remains of the doughboy to give the Egyptians who saw the ordeal to keep their mouths shut.

While under construction at the Sphinx, Loch Ness was reported to be drained leaving a large massive object at the far, far bottom. Another cover-up was needed to help Bush, so he bribed the British with hot tea and Grey Poupon to use their arguing skills against the sports teams of North America’s top leaders to think of something to catch American’s eyes. Because of this, Ben Rothlisberger got in the horrible motorcycle accident that we had recently been hearing about.

As the CIA inspected Loch Ness, the large object turned out to be a ton of Beat les albums that had been tossed into the lake. (They were bootlegs. The yellow submarine was purple.)

Paul McCartney somehow found out about the albums at the bottom of the lake and he cast a spell on the new music groups to make them sound awful. Now their horrible mockery of good music is polluting our minds and making us miserable.

And that is how the whole ended up how it is today.

Ruveneska, Chapter 10: Crucial Training by Darro

Shuren was awestruck. He stared blankly at the Zelze in front of him. “This is Zelzor’s Mountain?”

“We call it, Aela-Doria,” she answered.

Shuren searched his memory for past events. He remembered fighting the black coated men, and they were losing. Shuren was struck at the thought of his friends. “What of my friends?”

“They are fine, but first, you must see Zelzor after being properly healed,” she said.

“Couldn’t you do that in my sleep?”

“No, to use healing magic, the patient must be conscious, so it will not take more energy than necessary. Because you are awake, you are aware, and you can be more focused on being healed.”

“How does that help?” wondered Shuren.

“Anything can be done if you set your mind to it, that is how magic is used,” she said. “Now sit still and concentrate of being healed.”

Shuren nodded in agreement to her command. He focused all of his thoughts to feeling better. The nurse muttered a few words and a crossed her hands. A white orb of light emitted from her palms and she gently soothed Shuren’s wounds. He felt an occasional sting, but continued to focus and astonishingly, it was over within the minute. He jumped out of the comfortable mattress and onto the cold marble ground; he felt rejuvenated. It was clear that he was no longer injured.

“You recover fast Ruven. Get dressed properly,” she said pointing to a pile of lain out clothes, “it would be a disgrace to see Lord Zelzor dressed as you are.” She left the room as her white hair flowed behind her.

Shuren stripped himself and wore the new set of clothes he had been given. It was very light. The torso was larger than him, but smooth. Though it was very thin, it felt durable. His pants were very similar; thin and comfortable. Shuren walked to the edge of the room where the door was shut. Before leaving, he took one last glance around and wondered where his items were. He left, assuming the girl had them.

He opened the door, revealing a long refined hallway that branched into others. The entire place seemed to be made of marble. The ceiling was arched high above Shuren’s head. The walls were smooth. The path was spacious. At the end of the hallway opened into a huge room.

The Zelze approached him and gestured him to follow. They walked straight. “My name is Niance,” she said.

“Nice to meet you, and thank you for treating me,” Shuren said. She smiled in return.

They reached the end of the hallway that dispensed into a gigantic oval room. Shuren gasped. The ceiling above was stories high. The east side of the room was not concealed, but held up with giant pillars. Dragons flew in and out of the room between these pillars. The rest of the room webbed into other hallways. On the floor was an image of a dial.

Niance led Shuren north into a relatively big hallway; bigger than the others. The hallway was short as their walk was. They approached two steel open doors. Inside was another room, but it was smaller. It was plain, except a desk with a chair, a bed, open windows, and book cases.

On the chair was an elderly Zelze. He had long white silky hair and wrinkles of wisdom. He had piercing teal eyes. He looked up as Niance and Shuren walked in. Niance kneeled and signaled Shuren to do so also.

“Lord Zelzor, Ruven Shuren is here,” she said.

“Thank you Niance, you may leave,” he said nicely. Niance left and shut the doors. Zelzor turned and looked at Shuren. “Shuren, it is great to finally meet you.”

“You also,” Shuren said standing up. “Exactly what is going on?” Shuren asked.

Zelzor smiled again, as if he expected the question. “Tell me Shuren, what happened to you and your group upon coming here?”

Shuren explained what happened, mainly about the attack. It was a few minutes until he was finished.

“It appears they know that you are a threat. However, I sent Athar to help when we saw the dark clouds,” Zelzor said back.

“Who were those people that attacked us?” Shuren asked.

Zelzor sat up in his chair. “They are elite Ingle warriors. Their organization is called Mawbryn, created by Garland himself. They are extremely dangerous.”

“How many are there?” Shuren asked, recalling all the ones he had encountered.

“I do not know the exact number, but I reckon thirteen, as it is a popular number to Ingles.”

Shuren had a frustrated look on his face. After a few moments he said, “How powerful is Garland exactly?”

“That I do not know. Compared to a Mawbryn he is stronger than them tenfold.”

Shuren clenched his fist. Tenfold stronger! “I could not even defeat a Mawbryn, how am I supposed to defeat Garland?”

Zelzor smirked. “You have yet to use your Ruven power. With it you could defeat a Mawbryn with a single punch. But to achieve it, you must endure harsh training.”

Shuren stared for a moment. Zelzor was the only one who knew how much power Shuren had, and he was the only one who was able to help him harness it. “Will you help me please? I wish to be able to protect others. I wish to become a full Ruven.”

A bright smile appeared on Zelzor’s face. “Of course, you are the only one able to save us all.”

There was a long pause. Suddenly, Shuren said, “Can I see my friends?”

“Ah, I almost forgot,” he said snapping his fingers, “Catalina, please come in, I request a favor of you.”

A beautiful Gippy woman walked into the room. She had long silver hair that flowed behind her to reveal a gentle face. Her eyes were blue. She wore a white silk robe over her slender body. Shuren was shocked. He gaped at her. She was familiar to him somehow. Suddenly, it struck him: the dream! She had been the girl she was dreaming of in Hogony before he met Karoline. He had forgotten her when he met Karoline. He thought she was merely made up in his mind. All of his feelings for the girl returned him.

She walked up to Zelzor and kneeled. She asked, “What is it my Lord?”

“Please escort Shuren to his friends. Shuren, come back tomorrow to begin your training,” he said.

They nodded and then Catalina approached Shuren. Shuren timidly drew back a bit. She looked at him strangely and signaled for him to follow. “Follow me this way, Sir Ruven.”

Shuren hesitantly followed. He was led out of the room and back into the gigantic room. Shuren followed her into another long hallway. They were silent, until she stopped.

“What’s wrong?” Shuren asked.

She stepped closer to Shuren. “I never imagined you to be so handsome.” She said moving closer.

Shuren’s face began to feel hot. His heart pounded at his chest, about to burst through. “What do you mean?”

“I am thrilled to finally meet you,” she said, moving even closer. Her chest was now brushing against his. Her face was inches away from his. Her hand grabbed a hold of his.

Shuren did nothing to repel. He was paralyzed of shock. Suddenly, her head tilted towards him. Shuren found himself moving closer also. He felt her breathe blowing against his.

Suddenly, Catalina turned her head before their lips were able to meet. Shuren nearly stumbled over her. He turned around to see Karoline walking towards them. Shuren was shaken to her. He wondered if she saw them.

“Karoline, where is everyone?” Shuren asked trying to cover what had just happened.

Karoline had a bitter face. Her face suddenly changed when she said, “They are back at the room. I came to get you, but I see she reached you first.”

Shuren was shocked to hear Karoline speak with envy. He walked toward the room from which she came. He shook off his emotions. He passed Catalina and Karoline and continued forward. He left those two alone as he approached the door.

Inside he saw a fair sized room with a number of chairs. There was a long table filled with food and candles in the center. In the chairs that surrounded the table were Linkouz, Wresta, Strata, Zeal, Nina, Rollan, Ajek and Rojan. They were eating. On a wooden desk were Shuren’s items. The first to notice Shuren was Rojan.

“Sir Ruven!” he teased. “I see you’re awake.”

Shuren nodded. She said, “Are you guys alright?”

Linkouz turned to him and said, “Are we alright? You’re the one who passed out for two days!” He laughed before biting into his meat.

“Sit down Shuren, eat,” said Strata.

Shuren smiled and sat down. He grabbed a plate of food and feasted. The food was delicious and flavorful. He savored it as if it was Lloyd’s cooking. Shuren noticed that Lloyd was not present. He swallowed his food and asked, “Where is Lloyd at?”

Rollan said, “He is somewhere with Athar, the Zelze who saved us. It turns out that Athar is an archer.”

Shuren said, “Oh he is. Can someone show me where he is?” Shuren finished his plate of food quickly.

“I’ll take you,” Karoline said. Shuren had not even notice that she entered the room. He looked around, but found Catalina nowhere. Shuren was hesitant to follow Karoline. The thought of her seeing him and Catalina made him timid. “Had she seen us?” wondered Shuren.

Shuren followed her outside and back into the hallway. Before he was earshot, he heard Zeal call out, “Come back with Lloyd so we can discuss what to do!”

Shuren was now alone with Karoline. He still felt uneasy with her. There was an uncomfortable silence. Desperate to break it, Shuren asked, “Did you eat?”

“Yes, it was Lloyd who cooked it. That’s why it tasted so delicious.” Shuren nodded. Then suddenly, she asked, “How did her lips taste?”

Shuren was petrified that she asked. He searched his minds for an answer, but nothing left his mouth. He did nothing but look down.

Karoline had a smug glare on her face. Even with a negative face she was beautiful. She resumed walking forward as Shuren followed behind slowly; keeping distance from her.

She led Shuren into another hallway that came to a flight of stairs. They descended down the stairs for a few minutes until they came to another large marble room. They walked forward until they were outside of the mountain on a bridge that mounted alongside the mountain. Karoline walked on a bridge that went downward. They continued until they reached a flat ground on the side of the mountain. There were Zelzes that spared, Dragons that flew above, and Lloyd and Athar.

Shuren walked to them. Karoline turned and walked back. Shuren felt guilty of her leaving. Shuren walked up to Lloyd. “Hey Lloyd there you are.”

“Shuren, you’re awake!” exclaimed Lloyd. “This is Athar, the one who saved us,” Lloyd introduced.

Shuren greeted him and thanked him.

“Shuren, Athar is a great archer! He rides his Dragon and uses archery from the skies! Athar can please you show him?” Lloyd asked.

“Of course I will for Sir Ruven,” Athar said. Shuren learned to accept this name for everyone in Aela-Doria will call him it, and he was not going to argue with the entire mountain.

“Suxar, argeta mero!” Athar said.

Lloyd turned to Shuren and said, “Suxar is his Dragon, and argeta mero means ‘I Ride’.”

Suddenly, a beautiful sapphire colored Dragon swoop down and landed before them. It was big enough for three people to ride. It had spikes that ran down its long neck and ended at its back. On its back was a brown saddle with a strap that wrapped around its battle. The beginning of its tale is where spikes started again. Its wings were three times as long as its own height. Its arms dangled underneath the wings with giant claws on each of its five fingers. It roared in the air, and then blew smoke from its nostrils.

“It’s amazing!” Shuren exclaimed. He drew closer as Suxar let Shuren pet it. He felt its rough scales.

“Yes he is. I have been with him since he was a hatchling. Dragons are really smart, smarter than us actually,” Athar said.

“Can it talk?” Shuren asked, still petting him.

“No, but it can understand our words. I can communicate to it but I don’t understand how. I do not even have to say anything and he knows what I want. Same for me also it’s a very mysterious thing we have with our Dragons,” Athar said. Athar walked towards him, equipped with his bow and a quiver. He leapt onto Suxar and patted it on the head.

Suddenly, it darted off of the ground and shot into the air with immense speed. It circled in the air and did a loop. It turned around and swooped down. It stopped in mid air. Athar pulled out an arrow and stretched his bow string back. He shot the arrow and hit a target directly. Shuren was amazed. They flew with such harmony!

“Watch this Sir Ruven!” Athar called out. He pulled back another arrow. He shot it and at the same time, Suxar let out a ball of flame that lit the arrow. Through the air the arrow flew on fire. It soared and lit hit another target as it extinguished.

“That’s amazing!” Shuren said as Suxar flew down. Lloyd nodded.

“Thank you Sir Ruven,” Athar said.

Shuren then remembered he had to meet back with the group. “Lloyd, we must go meet up with the group. They said we need to discuss something.”

“Okay, we must go Master Athar,” Lloyd said.

They departed and walked back into the mountain. They continued the way Shuren had come from. Before long, they were back at the room where everyone was waiting. Shuren felt his stomach quiver as he saw Karoline.

“Now everyone is here, we will discuss what to do next,” Rollan said as they sat down.

“Shuren please tell us what you discussed with Lord Zelzor,” Nina insisted.

“Um . . . Okay,” Shuren began, “Well basically he is going to teach me how to harness my power to the fullest. He told me that those Ingles we fought were called the Mawbryn and that Garland is at least ten times stronger.” Shuren looked around expecting everyone to be shocked, but they were not. They seemed to expect it.

Lloyd stood up. He glanced at everyone and said, “I will be training under Master Athar.”

Shuren looked at the Grundells in the room and said, “Well if there really is going to be a war, we are going to need a lot more help.”

“Then we will gather more troops,” said Ajek looking at Rojan. “We can go back to the Rebellion and gather the rest of the Ingles here.” Rojan nodded.

Karoline stood up from the wall she was leaning on and said, “I will go with you.”

Shuren felt a sudden burst of sorrow. “That will take months!” Shuren looked at the Ingles’ minds as they were made up “Karoline, why do you have to go? Shouldn’t Ajek and Rojan be enough?” Shuren said without thinking.

Karoline shot a glare at him. She felt as if he didn’t have the right to talk to her. “I will help my people,” she said cruelly.

“Well we will gather the rest of the Grundells for war,” said Zeal, referring to the other Grundells.

Strata looked at Wresta who seemed to be puzzled. Then Wresta asked, “Rollan, what will you be doing?”

Rollan was quiet for a moment. He looked as the whole room turned their attention to him. “I have business of my own to take care of. So it is decided, we will all depart for a while to do what we must for the war.”

Everyone in the room, nodded, and Shuren reluctantly did also.

“When we will this happen?” asked Strata.

“As soon as possible,” Karoline said.

“In two days we will depart,” said Linkouz sourly.

“I will ask Lord Zelzor if any Zelzes can accompany us on our journey,” said Rojan, “it will make our long journey less.”

“So I guess that means only Lloyd and I are staying at the mountain . . .” Shuren said gloomily.

Everyone nodded. Zeal stood up and said, “I will not unpack a lot.” He laughed bitterly.

Soon, the meeting was over, and it was well past sunset. Everyone had their own room, including Shuren. Each one of them had their own assistant to show them their rooms; Shuren had Catalina.

Shuren’s room was near the top of the mountain. It took quite a hike to reach so high. They were alone, but said nothing to each other. The silence was awkward. Shuren soon reached his room.

Inside was a stylish bed made of cotton. It was the first time Shuren had ever lain in cotton, but it was comfortable. In the room, his items were already unpacked and stored in closets. His scimitar was hung on the wall. On the walls were bookcases filled with books. Shuren was delighted to see so many. There was only one giant window, big enough for a Dragon to stick its head through. Outside the window was a flat surface that acted as a balcony. In the center of his room was a pool of water for bathing. The water was always warm as if it were enchanted.

As soon as he reached his room he jumped onto his bed and lay down comfortably. The cotton was able to support his weight as he jumped down onto it. He was exhausted from hiking so high up the mountain. He was sweaty and tired. For a moment he was afraid that Catalina was going to approach him, but she did not. She said goodbye and left Shuren alone.

Shuren stripped himself and dipped his body into the warm pool of water. He relaxed for a while and then began to scrub himself. Once he was clean he dried himself and put on a new pair of clothes.

He grabbed a fresh book from the bookcase and began reading. After an hour of reading, there was a knock at his door. Shuren told the person to enter. It was a Zelze with a tray of food; dinner.

Shuren hadn’t realized how hungry he was. He thanked her gracefully and ate. Halfway through his meal was another knock, this time, it was Karoline. Shuren was shocked to see her at his room. He wiped his mouth with a rag and told her to sit down.

“Would you like dinner?” Shuren asked.

She shook her head. She said nothing as she walked around the room. “This is quite a fancy room.”

Shuren nodded as he finished his meal. He got up and walked out onto the balcony. “Come out here Karoline,” Shuren called. Moments later, she stepped out of the window and looked at the view before her.

They were miles high in the air. Mountains surrounded Aela-Doria and past that was the Esanci River. To their far right was a huge waterfall that fell into a lake. The air was fresh and the waterfall was a pleasant sound.

The stars seemed bigger than usual that night. They were so high up the view was magnificent. The half moon shone abnormally bright. Shuren and Karoline had a perfect view of Oryk.

“It’s beautiful . . .” Karoline gaped.

“Yeah,” Shuren said. He looked at her as the moon lit half of her face and the other concealed in shadows. He stared at her until she looked back. Shuren suddenly stopped breathing; they were locked in a gaze. His mind was confused. “Get closer!” one side of his mind raged. “No, don’t!” the other screamed. His body was acting on its own. He was leaning toward her.

Karoline inhaled deeply. Shuren was inches away from her. Before he got any closer, she stopped him. Her two fingers were placed on his lips, ceasing him to move any further. “Shuren, don’t. I can’t . . .” she sighed. She turned around as her hair whipped Shuren’s face. She walked out of the room without another word.

Shuren was left bewildered. “Stupid Shuren!” he screamed at himself. He cursed and kicked the marble wall. He walked back inside and threw himself the bed. Frustrated, he fell asleep scowling himself.

Shuren woke up the next day fully rested. He was glad to have slept on a comfortable surface for once. He immediately sunk his body into the pool that was still warm.

Soon after he was dressed, he found his way to Zelzor’s room with his scimitar. He lifted his hand to knock, but before he could it opened. Zelzor stood before him smiling.

“Master Zelzor, I am here. So when we do begin my training?” Shuren asked bowing.

“We begin now,” he said as he walked out of his room.

Shuren followed him as he was led out of the mountain. They walked a series of bridges until they reached a flat surface next to the waterfall. It was a pleasant place to relax.

Zelzor walked to Shuren and asked him, “I assume the Gippies did not teach you any magic, or did Rollan?”

Shuren tried to recall a time when Rollan taught Shuren magic, but he didn’t. “No, no one did . . . “

“Then we will start by teaching you magic,” Zelzor said as he picked up a stone. “Magic is simply using your own energy to complete tasks. Your energy is like an invisible force than you can control. They can seep through any part of your body.” Suddenly, the stone began to float in mid air. “You see I am using my energy to lift the rock.”

“That’s amazing. Is it as simple as it looks?” Shuren asked, picking up a random stone.

“Try for yourself. Gather your energy to the palm of your hand and release it under the rock,” instructed Zelzor.

Shuren focused his inner energy to the palm of his hand. He released it under the rock as it vibrated in mid air. “I did it!” Shuren exclaimed. It stayed in mid air for only a moment, and then it plumped back into Shuren’s palm. Shuren felt a sudden tiredness.

Zelzor dropped the rock. Shuren stared at Zelzor to see what he was going to do.

“I see you yet to have control of your energy,” Zelzor said. He turned to the huge waterfall before them. He pointed his finger at it and said, “Once you are in control, you will be able to do small things such as this.” Suddenly, the flow of water stopped. The waterfall was halted in mid air. As each second pasted by, more and more water gathered up but did not fall.

Shuren was lost of words. Zelzor flicked his finger and the water descended and made a giant splash in the lake. The waterfall then began to flow again.

“Master, I noticed that you didn’t say any words for that spell,” Shuren began.

“That, Shuren, was not a spell. It was magic, but not a spell. To cast a spell you must focus your energy in a certain way, and speak the words appropriate,” Zelzor said. He levitated the rock to his palm again and said, “For instance. If I gather the energy to my palm, and use it as heat, and then say Ferina.” The rock melted in his very hand and turned to molten rock.

“Wow, I want to learn that,” Shuren said.

Zelzor said nothing back. He gathered more energy and said, “Aniref.” The molten rock suddenly hardened as steam rose from it. It became a solid rock again.

“I have another question. What language were you speaking when you did that spell?” Shuren asked.

“This language was of the Gippies,” Zelzor said.

It seemed familiar to him, but he was not sure. Shuren asked, “To do those spells, I am going to have learn different languages aren’t I?”

Zelzor nodded. “Each race has a different spell system. The Gippies usually use elemental spells to accomplish feats like melting and freezing. The Grundells normally use spells to enhance physical strength. The Ingles use dark magic such as summoning Sleepwalkers. The Zelzes are opposite and use white magic.”

Shuren took in the lesson he had just learned. He would have to practice different languages in order to boost his magical ability. Suddenly, he asked, “Master, what language Is Ruveneska under?”

Zelzor seemed taken back by this question. He paused for a moment before saying, “The Holy Language. It is an ancient language that consists of the most powerful spells ever cast. We will not get into discussion about that. As of now, focus on converting your energy into different things.”

“That is the Gippy magic system right?” Shuren asked picking up another rock.

Zelzor nodded. Shuren muttered the words that Zelzor used to melt the rock but nothing happened. He had to focus more.

While Shuren was training, Zelzor said, “In your room, I placed books of each language. I want you to study each one of them. For now, work on the Gippy language and we will change from there.”

Shuren nodded as he tried to melt the rock. He gathered every particle of energy and forced it into the rock as hot as he could. There was a small sizzle as a speck of smoke rose from the rock and then it did nothing else. Shuren swore and tried again.

The rest of the day was spent on melting a rock, which seemed to be pretty foolish to him; but he did not complain. By the end of the day, Shuren’s hand was burned from heated energy. He was so exhausted from using his energy that a Shuren had to be taken to his room by a Dragon and a Zelze.

When Shuren entered his room, he noticed that the water in his pool was replaced with fresh new water. He bathed and ate the tray of food that was recently brought to him. When he was finished, he walked to his bed where he found a stack of books, each one was a translator. He moaned; for once he was not eager to read. Reluctantly, he opened the book for the Gippy language.

In the middle of studying, there was a knock at his door. He opened it to find Lloyd.

“Lloyd, come in,” Shuren invited. Lloyd came in and looked around his room. “Do you know anything about the Grundell language?” Shuren asked solemnly.

Lloyd blinked at Shuren for a moment and said, “Yes of course, why do you ask?”

Shuren answered, “Master is making me study four languages so I can learn magic.”

“Oh, I can help you on that,” he said back.

Gracefully, Shuren said, “Great, I’ll become a full Ruven yet.”

Lloyd laughed. “Shuren, we must go see everyone before they head off.”

“I thought they were leaving tomorrow,” Shuren said blankly.

“Tomorrow morning, unless you want to wake up at dawn,” he said.

Shuren was shocked. He hadn’t anyone from the group the entire day. It was spent of training. “Let’s go.”

Shuren and Lloyd reached the main room in the mountain where everyone was. They all greeted each other. Shuren saw Karoline who seemed to be avoiding him. Shuren walked up to her and said, “Karoline, I’m sorry for what I did.”

She looked at him as if she was clueless. “No grudges.”

Shuren was relieved that Karoline didn’t detest him. “So you’re leaving tomorrow at dawn.”

“Yes, but I will be back, and with great numbers,” she said smiling.

“Don’t forget to train, by the time you get back I’ll be a lot stronger,” Shuren teased.

She giggled, “Don’t worry; my absence won’t be that long.”

Shuren went to the rest and said their goodbyes. Nina and Zeal were nearly in tears. Linkouz and Wresta gave tight bare hugs and Strata just gave them a handshake. Shuren spotted Rollan staring off into the distance. He walked up to him and asked, “So where are you going Rollan?”

“There is something I must do far away,” Rollan said entering another glare into the distance.

“I would like to know,” Shuren said.

“As of now, it is better if it remains secret,” Rollan said smiling.

Shuren glanced around. Everyone was about to leave, but not forever. They will come back and with help. “It’s for the war,” he thought to himself.

It was nighttime. Shuren said his final goodbyes before they went back to their rooms. Shuren struggled to fight away tears, but they came. He walked back to his room half sobbing.

The next morning, Shuren woke up to the sun gleaming in his face. He nearly came began to cry when he remembered that he was only left with Lloyd.

There was a knock at the door. Shuren answered it; it was Catalina. Shuren was timid to face her.

“Lord Zelzor wishes to train the same spot today,” Shuren informed.

Shuren thanked her, and then asked, “Hey Catalina, are there any other Gippies in Aela-Doria?”

She shook her head.

Shuren stared at her. His feelings for her did not change. She was still the girl from his dreams. Before he did anything, the thought of Karoline struck him. She eyed him with a grin. Shuren was apprehensive of her. She drew closer to him. Shuren was frozen. His mind was screaming, “Run away!” but his feet were frozen.

“It must be hard, training under such a powerful being such as Lord Zelzor,” she said nearing him.

“Uh . . . Yea it is. It’s just I am unfamiliar with so many languages,” Shuren said hesitantly.

She looked at him weirdly. Then she said, “Well I can tutor you in the Gippy language.”

Shuren was staggered. He needed a tutor, but Catalina? He needed to learn from a person more than a book, but what was Catalina up to? Before he knew it he said, “Sure that would be great.”

She smiled charmingly. She lifted her hand and placed it against his cheek. She kissed her fingers and placed her fingers on his cheek before departing. Shuren was left standing at his door astounded.

* * *

Shuren focused more on controlling his energy more than converting it. He was able to levitate a rock for a minute now. He continued to train with Zelzor for most of the day. After, he would relax in his room and study, usually falling asleep in the book.

The lessons with Catalina weren’t as horrible as he had expected. He spent most of her time teaching than she did seducing. She did occasionally flirt with Shuren and he found it hard to get on task. The lessons usually lasted an hour. She was far more powerful than he anticipated. He was surprised that she was able to lift all of the water in his pool and place it all back with every drop. After she demonstrated that, she showed him that heating the water was the same as heating a rock.

After a week with Zelzor, Shuren was able to melt the rock and freeze it back. Shuren was able to freeze and boil water. While training under the element of wind, Shuren was struck with a question.

“Master, can you use magic to kill an animal? Not like casting Ferina but using a killing spell.”

“Ah, I was waiting for that question,” Zelzor began. “These spells are not under any classification. They are just simple spells. Each race has developed them; many different ones come from different races.”

“Oh, I understand,” Shuren said. He barley understood what he was doing when was blowing the trees that grew on the mountain.

Without another word, he gathered his energy and blew it out at a nearby tree. The branches lunged back and forth from the gust. He was not nearly as powerful as Zelzor, but Zelzor said otherwise.

Zelzor was able to blow a boulder off of the mountain and levitate it back without breaking a sweat. Levitating the boulder was more than enough to make him collapse.

“When you are using your energy, you are wasting it. When you blow out, you are blowing out more energy with little power. But when I do it, I use less energy but with more power,” Zelzor informed. “Focus more on power.”

“Okay master,” Shuren said back. He took a deep breath. Shuren concentrated on using his energy more effectively. He inhaled while gathering energy. He muttered, “Dinwoa,” and blew out at the boulder before him. It jolted off of the cliff and into a free fall.

Zelzor smiled. “Try to catch it now,” he said quickly.

Shuren summoned the remainder of his energy and threw it at the boulder. An invisible force halted the boulder from falling. With all of his strength, he pulled the rock upward with his invisible force. Gradually, it got higher until it plumped at the edge of the cliff. Shuren fell to the ground out of exhaustion.

“Excellent job Shuren,” Zelzor congratulated. “You can rest for the remainder of today.” Soon after, Shuren was flown back to his room by Suxar and Athar. He relaxed in his pool and then fell asleep reading the Grundell language book Zelzor assigned.

A month had passed since they arrive at the mountain. Shuren’s build was now more muscular. His energy capacity seemed to increase also. He was able to stop the waterfall by then. Every day he would train with Zelzor until he was dismissed. After that he went to his room to relax and study.

The routine did not change. Shuren had been in Aela-Doria for more than two months. After the Gippy magic training was over after the first month, Shuren began to train on Grundell magic at the sparring grounds where he first saw Athar and Suxar. There Shuren worked on both physical magic and swordsmanship. He often battled with Lloyd who gave him a few lessons on archery.

Shuren did not see much of Lloyd the entire month. Whenever Shuren had free time Lloyd was busy. He was sure it was not training because Athar was not with Lloyd. What was he doing? It bothered Shuren for some time. When he did have free time, he always seemed paranoid with something.

Shuren was just about to go see Zelzor before he was stopped by Niance.

“Shuren,” Niance began, “Lord Zelzor said that he cannot train with you today. He said that he was busy with some things.”

“That is strange,” Shuren said with a grin. He was sure that it would have been a good reason for canceling. “Okay, thank you Niance.”

She bowed and walked away.

Shuren walked down to Lloyd’s room. It was locked, meaning he was not present.

“He is with Lord Zelzor,” said Athar from behind.

Shuren turned around and saw Athar was armed. “Why are you not with Lloyd?”

“Today you are my student,” he said handing him a bow.

That day, Shuren trained with Athar from the skies. He was a far greater archer than Lorica. Shuren even learned spells to enhance the arrow. He was able to make the arrow invisible and shift directions without losing speed.

Riding on Suxar was remarkable. It was hard to hold onto him, but he soared through the air with ease. Shuren did more flying than he did training with Athar. After three months of training with Zelzor, flying on Suxar seemed to make up for all of the harsh training.

Shuren was training with Zelzor at the sparring grounds. It was deserted. The sounds of metal clashing were absent, making Shuren’s senses feel naked.

A thought suddenly struck Shuren. They had been training for three months and he has yet done any Ruven training. “Master, we have been training for a while now, but I haven’t done any Ruven training.”

Zelzor paused. As if he expected it, he said, “But you have Shuren.”

“I have?”

“Yes you have. This entire time I was training you in the art of magic. Your skills have dramatically sharpened since when you arrive here,” Zelzor explained.

Shuren knew he was correct. His skills had increased greatly, but it did not seem to reflect on being a Ruven. “But master, all you’ve done is made me a powerful wizard.”

“Ah, but a Ruven is a powerful wizard. The Ruven is the spell castor of Ruveneska. The Ruven is a spell castor, a wizard.”

“But what does that have to do with using Ruveneska?” Shuren asked irritated.

“To cast Ruveneska you must have total control of your energy, and you must have to be able to convert your energy perfectly. I cannot stress how important your skills have to be perfect. You must use the spell one hundred percent correctly. If you accidentally convert your energy wrong just by a grain, something disastrous will happen,” Zelzor explained seriously.

Shuren looked at Zelzor for a moment, “Is it really that difficult?”

“Yes it is. I was forced to use it correctly. I was put under crucial circumstances so I had to use it,” he said.

Shuren was wide eyed. Zelzor seemed dead serious about Ruveneska. It was far more than he anticipated.

Suddenly, there was a loud Dragon roar. Shuren and Zelzor looked up to see a Zelze flying on a fierce black Dragon toward them. The Zelze was named Blayger who rode the female Dragon, Naran. Blayger landed before them abruptly, he jolted towards them.

“What is it Blayger?” Zelzor asked worried.

“My Lord an army approaches!” he said,

Shuren felt a sudden hope that it was Karoline and the others. He hadn’t seen them in so long, he was hopeful of their return. “Who is it?”

“It is Garland!” Blayger shrieked.

Terror struck Shuren’s inners. He began to tremble. Fear was shown across Zelzor’s face. “Explain to me what you saw,” Zelzor said.

“I was scouting with Naran until she spotted a large group a people. We hide behind a mountain and since she has better vision, she saw an army. Ingles, Trolls, Sleepwalkers Oughalds,” -Oughalds were monstrous creatures, the same size of Trolls but three times as dangerous. They were very intelligent and were rare to find in large pacts - “a whole lot of them!”

“How far away are they?” Shuren asked still trembling.

“Naran thinks about a day’s march. They had already passed the Esanci River.”

“How did they find our location?” Shuren asked.

“When you were attacked by the Mawbryn, they clearly saw which direction Athar and Suxar flew from,” Zelzor evaluated.

Shuren was horrified. “An army was approaching! We must fight!” “We must fight them!”

“I was afraid this might happen,” Zelzor frowned. “Blayger, go announce this to everyone! We must gather up everyone and fight! Tell everyone to prepare to for battle!”

Blayger nodded and flew away on Naran. Zelzor turned to Shuren and said, “Shuren, I have trained you well. I expect you to battle amongst us.”

Shuren smiled with pride, “I would not have it any other way.”

“Go prepare yourself for battle, they are a day’s march away, that’s a day to prepare!” ordered Zelzor.

Shuren ran back to his room to treat himself. He enchanted the pool of water how Catalina instructed and dipped him in. He felt a sudden sense of rejuvenation. Any strain or pain he had before was now gone; he felt wonderful. He jumped out of the pool and put on his underclothing. On his wall he noticed a battle outfit on display for him. He put it on quickly. It was magnificent armor. The tunic was as light as his normal shirt, but withstood a stab from a sword. His leggings were the same.

Shuren grabbed his scimitar and other weapons and then ran to the center room where the Zelzes gathered. Aela-Doria seemed to be calm. Zelzes reported to their appropriate area of the mountain and marched down to the field. Others flew Dragons above and stayed airborne.

Shuren ran to Zelzor who was already equipped and ready to battle. He was outside flying on a blazing red Dragon. Shuren took another glance at it. He realized it was the same Dragon who attacked Shuren before he met Karoline! He did not mention this. “The Demon Dragon, only ride able by Lord Zelzor himself,” he thought. It seemed content as Zelzor rode it.

“Hey, look over here Shuren!” Shuren heard someone called out.

Shuren turned to see Lloyd ready for battle.

“Are you ready Shuren? This is where your training pays off.” Lloyd said staring down the mountain as the Zelzes flew to the ground.

Shuren looked down also. He sighed and comprehended what was about to happen. “Lloyd, this is it. We’ve been training for three and a half months for this moment; the war.”

“Shuren,” said Zelzor from his right.

“Yes master?” Shuren replied to Zelzor. Lloyd looked at him also.

“Lloyd, fly with Athar and help him lead his army. Attack from the skies,” Zelzor instructed. He turned to Shuren and said, “Shuren, find a Zelze and lead your army to battle.”

Shuren was dumbfounded. “My army . . .?” Shuren questioned.

Zelzor pointed across the field to a large number of Zelzes flying, awaiting his command. That was Shuren’s army.

Ruveneska, Chapter 9: Enchanting Legend by Darro

Shuren left Rollan’s tent in complete shock. Though he was unsure about undertaking Lord Zelzor’s training, Shuren was completely sure about protecting those innocent. He decided to keep it confidential. Neither Karoline nor Lloyd would find out about this, until it was to happen.

Shuren trotted along the dirt path until he reached his own tent. He placed his scimitar inside the tent. Then he went searching for Lloyd. Though Lloyd was his target, he encountered Karoline first. Shuren could tell that she was soon going to make a remark about Shuren but he stopped her before she began. Karoline questioned in confusion. “What’s wrong with you?” she asked puzzled.

“If I go to see Lord Zelzor, will you come with me?” Shuren asked hesitantly, without answering her question.

“Well of course,” Karoline answered reassured. “But after all of this, you will owe me a favor,” Karoline commented.

“It’s only fair, what is it?” Shuren asked curiously. Shuren looked at her for a moment, beginning to think that it was going to be something that he was incapable of.

“When this is all over, you will know,” said Karoline very slyly. She walked away leaving Shuren stunned by Karoline’s charm.

Shuren continued searching for Lloyd. He was nowhere to be found. Shuren walked around asking any nearby Grundell in the village, that he could about Lloyd’s location. Shuren spotted Saron packing some bags. He walked toward her anxiously.

“Excuse me Miss Saron?” said Shuren.

“Oh please do not call me ‘Miss.’ Saron is fine, young master,” Saron said respectively.

“Please call me Shuren,” Shuren said back. “Have you any idea where Lloyd went? I can’t seem to find him.” Shuren peered at what she packed and wondered if she was a part of the group hiking to Zelzor’s Mountain.

“Oh yes, I am sure that he mentioned the forest,” she said smiling as she dropped her bags.

“Why are you leaving your bags?” Shuren asked as he began to pick them up for her.

“Oh, I was just bringing them back to me hut,” she began. Shuren handed her the bags and he carried a few himself. “I’ve decided that I’m not going anymore.”

Shuren was startled. “Why are you not going?” asked Shuren as Saron led her way back to the hut.

She stopped walking and turned to look at Shuren. She took a deep breath and sighed. “Well, I’m afraid that old age has that effect on people. You lose strength in your bones, and your hearing and eyesight erode. I’m sorry to say, but I can’t handle the hike.”

Shuren frowned. Soon a question came to thought. They continued walking and Shuren decided to ask the question. “Saron, did you know my parents?”

Saron said nothing for a few moments. They reached a small wooden hut. They walked inside and placed the bags gently on the floor. In the center of the room there was a big gray rug. To the back corner of the room was a mattress. Completely opposite of that corner was a bookcase filled with half burnt books. Along the wall were baskets of clothing, many of the same elderly style. She turned and looked Shuren deeply. Shuren began to feel uncomfortable as she stared at him. “Hmm, yes Shuren I did.”

An unexpected joy filled Shuren. “What were they like?” Shuren asked, trying not to be too hopeful.

“Well, I can say that they were one of the few happy couples I the village,” She said with a smirk. She took a seat in a wooden chair and began to go into thought.

“Were they really?” Shuren asked as he took a seat across from Saron.

She smiled. “Yes they were, your father he was a great warrior indeed. During the war, he came back home when he heard the news that you had been born,” Saron explained.

Shuren was fascinated by her story. All of his life, he wondered about his parents. “Wow, was he really that great?”

Saron nodded her head with enthusiasm. “Yes he was. He was a General in fact.”

“What about my mother? What was she like?” asked Shuren hoping to get a similar answer as his father.

“Your mother was a beautiful woman. All the men were envious of your father,” Saron said as she giggled. “In fact, I was the one who taught her how to cook and sew, quick learner she was.”

Shuren could not help but smile. Though, somehow, deep down, this all seemed too farfetched. The way Saron described his parents, they seemed flawless. Shuren stood up. “Thank you Saron, now I know at least something about my family. I think I’m going to search for Lloyd now.”

Saron said, “Yes of course. When you get back from your journey, I have loads of stories to tell you Shuren. Until then, I bid you farewell.”

“Thank you greatly,” Shuren said. He walked across the soft rug and out of her hut. He saw that more people were out in the village now. Many of them were hauling equipment out from the festival the day before. Shuren zigzagged his way through the people to reach the perimeter of the village. He walked out and into the forest.

Shuren reached the mouth of the forest. He trudged into the thick forest immediately began calling for Lloyd. There was no reply from the calls. Shuren sustained calling out. Each call got louder and longer, but there was still no reply. Shuren began to get worried. “What if something happened to him?” Shuren thought to himself paranoid. He tried to shake the feeling off, but fear kept creeping back. Shuren called out louder, and began sprinting through the forest. Something caused Shuren to halt. Shuren glared at an arrow lying on the floor west of him. He walked over timidly. He recognized it; it was indeed Lloyd’s arrow. Shuren was now regretting not being armed. Further past the arrow were more arrows. Shuren continued along the path picking up the arrows along the way. Suddenly, Shuren heard a shriek behind a tree. Shuren investigated it to find Lloyd tied up. Shuren, relieved to see Lloyd alive, untied Lloyd rapidly.

“What happened?” Shuren questioned. Shuren moved his fingers through the knots and loosened up the rope.

“There were two ingles lurking our forest! I tried to stop them, but they overpowered me,” Lloyd explained. “We must stop them from getting to the village!”

“Shuren!” a familiar voice rang from behind bushes. There was a rustle behind him.

Shuren turned to see two familiar faces. One had a gruff face and razor sharp ears, and the other had a soft gentle but deadly face. “Ajek, Rojan! What are you guys doing here?”

“We were hunting and encountered this here fellow; he sort of looked like you so we asked him if he knew you. Out of nowhere, he starts shooting arrows at us! So, we roughen him up a bit and tie him to a tree,” explained Ajek, with Rojan advocating.

“What were you two doing hunting all the way over here?” Shuren asked as he helped Lloyd off of the ground.

“Morphin sent us and a few other groups to scout for a new location for the rebellion. We realized that the biggest forest in Oryk would be a great place, so we came here,” Rojan explained slowly. “What are you doing here?”

Shuren laughed for he was not expecting the same question. “Visiting my long lost village,” Shuren joked

Lloyd looked at the two of them in confusion. Shuren could see that Lloyd was beginning to wonder who these people were.

“Oh . . . Well anyway, Lloyd this is Ajek and Rojan, they’re apart of the rebellion that Karoline is in,” Shuren said to Lloyd. Ajek nodded along with Rojan.

“My greatest apologies to you two,” Lloyd said with grief. He took a glance at Shuren and turned back to the pair. “You are fine warriors, would you mind escorting Master Shuren to a designated place?”

“Whoa, please don’t call me that Lloyd, I’m no master,” Shuren said once again.

“Exactly what are you talking about?” Rojan asked baffled. He crossed his arms, awaiting an explanation.

Lloyd explained what Shuren, along with Lloyd, recently discovered. They continued the conversation while walking back to the village. The pair accepted the quest with eagerness.

The path they walked along did not seem the least bit familiar to Shuren. Shuren soon declared them lost. Lloyd misled the group that he knew where he was going. Shuren were getting deeper into the thick woods until Shuren observed a broken bush alongside a footprint. He soon realized that those were prints of Shuren. They continued to follow these footprints like a trail of bread crumbs and they managed to scurry out of the forest. Soon, they reached the village only to discover a group of fairly strong looking Grundells, led by Rollan. Shuren gazed at the diversity of the group, manly Grundells; there were two Ingles and one Gippy. Shuren pondered in confusion. He then came to the conclusion that they were ready to escort him to Lord Zelzor’s mountain.

“Shuren Willans, we are to escort you the sacred mountains of the Zelzes,” Rollan announced. The group was basically everyone from the tournament; Linkouz, Strata, Wresta, Zeal, and Nina, but Karoline was not there with them.

Shuren thought for moment, trying to arrange what he was going to say. “Please, do not treat me like royalty. I am no king. You are not escorting me; we are journeying to the mountain.” Shuren pleaded. “I would rather us leave in the morning, I must take care of a few things.” At that statement, everyone left the group. Shuren also took his leave with Lloyd.

Shuren and Lloyd walked about the village. Shuren, many times, questioned the Grundell life. Answers alone were not enough to satisfy Shuren. He wanted to experience it. He wanted to enjoy life for the first time. That, something everyone understood, was never to be. Shuren envied Lloyd greatly.

* * *

Shuren packed the last of his remains. Though Shuren woke up rather early that morning, he was the last to finish packing. The very thought of not being able to spend time with his kind irritated him. For once in his life, he felt in place. Though he knew it would not last very long. Shuren lifted his backpack off of the ground and placed it around his shoulders. He walked on to join the group ready to take their leaves. Shuren saw Ajek and Rojan and noticed they did not posses any luggage. He walked up to the pair and asked them why.

“We have nothing to lose, that is your worst kind of enemy,” Rojan said. Ajek nodded and continued along with them. Shuren spotted Karoline in the distance, she was walking towards them. She saw Ajek and Rojan and made a puzzled face.

“What are you two doing here?” Karoline asked Ajek and Rojan as she approached them.

“Morphin wanted us to find a new campsite, we came to look over here and stumbled into Shuren and Lloyd,” they explained. “Now we are going to escort ‘Young Master Shuren.’” Karoline said nothing and walked away, obviously irritated.

Shuren did not complain. Shuren and Lloyd agreed to meet everyone at the northern gate of the village. They began to walk around, saying goodbyes to nearly everyone. Shuren even said goodbye to those he did not even know. Many of them gave farewell presents, such as food, clothing, even money. Within an hour, the two of them met the group at the gate, ready for departure. “This is it,” Shuren thought to himself. “Wow, what did I get myself into? First I try to save Rollan, now I have to save the world?” Shuren was overwhelmed by the thought of this. “After all of this, I may end up dying . . .” Shuren was nor paranoid. “But then again, they say that if I don’t help, so will a lot of innocent people, I couldn’t live with myself knowing that I could have stopped it. ’Those who have the power to make something right, have the responsibility to make something right,’ I read somewhere. I have to do this.” He shook off the feeling and began to walk.

The group broke the barrier of the village. They continued walking in the Dead Forest up north. The walk to the mountain would take the group a couple of days if they were moving at a steady pace. After the first hour of walking, Shuren was exhausted. He, of all people, carried the biggest load of equipment. Linkouz noticed this and offered Shuren a helping hand, though Shuren, did not accept. The extraordinary heat was not helping him either. Though he did realize that he carried the weight of the world; the weight of equipment should not have to be a problem to him. Shuren continued to push himself harder. He was struggling to keep up with the group, but he did not give up.

Karoline followed behind Shuren, questioning herself as to why Shuren was so foolish. “He knows that he needs help, why won’t he accept it?” Lloyd took a notice to her worrying.

“Do not worry about Shuren,” Lloyd said, “he is only trying to prove something.”

“What? I’m not worried about him, he’s just acting foolish, and there’s nothing to prove anyway,” Karoline said, seeming to secret her real thoughts.

“Not to us there is, but to him. He is proving something to himself. It is a matter of will power,” Lloyd explained. “He needs to know that he can make the journey to begin it all. How can you win a war if you don’t make it to battle?” Lloyd explained to her. Karoline was left silent.

The day had fallen into a misty night. A crescent moon rested above their heads, casting a faint shadow. Shuren was ready to collapse at this time. Rollan could see this and ordered everyone to set up camp. Shuren, refusing to give up, lifted himself up off of the ground, and began to set up his camp incredibly fast. Soon, there was a fire, spreading warmth around, food being cooked (by Lloyd), and tents set up. Shuren was sore from pushing himself so much, and Karoline was irritated from seeing Shuren pushing himself.

Other than the sound of fire crackling at wood, and bugs chirping, the group was relatively quiet. Everyone was reluctant to start a conversation, accept Ajek. “Why couldn’t we have ridden Paleps?” he asked.

“It would have been too noticeable, and Ingles might be able to follow their tracks,” answered Nina. “Also, it would have been too much to feed. “ Lloyd took a metal stick and stirred the pot hanging by a hearth.

“Would anyone like to hear a story?” asked Strata. Many people were now listening to Strata. Many replied ‘Yes’.

Shuren did not say anything, but deep down, he wanted to hear. “What is it about what?”

“The Prophecy,” said Strata in return. Everyone was now quiet and listening. “Many have the documentation of ‘The Prophecy’, but it is better explained verbally.

“A single Gippy will rise to battle an army

Others will rise to aid him

Secrets will be revealed

The student will surpass the teacher

He will unite those once enemies

In the end, a Gippy with no matter. . .

Will become a Grundell with Great Duties.”

Shuren was in a condition worse than shock, he was traumatized. The Prophecy explained his whole life in sentences. “How old is this prophecy?”

“Too long for us to know,” Linkouz simply answered.

“Can someone please explain this whole Zelzor and Garland thing?” Shuren asked exasperated.

“Many years ago, on this planet, there were no Ingles, Zelzes or Dragons. Now you may not have heard of Zelzes because you were raised in a Gippy village,” Strata explained to Shuren. “A man was created, almost as powerful as a god, Ingolor.”

This name sent a chill down Shuren’s spine it was enough to make Shuren cower.

“He was supposed to take care of this planet. To help him, he created his own kind, known as the Ingles. The Ingles had powers of a necromancer, meaning they had the power to control the dead.

“At first, things were orderly, but not for long. Ingolor grew hungry with his power. He turned other races into slaves, including the Grundells. The Gippies, on the other hand, took the side of Ingolor. Everyone else was either a slave, or a grave. This flaw was seen. Somewhere, as if from the skies above, Lord Zelzor was created, and with one thing Ingolor had not; care.

“Zelzor was to get rid of Ingolor and all the evil in Oryk. He knew his duty, and created his own kind, the Zelzes. Along with the Zelzes, he created the Dragons for them to ride. The Zelzes were mystical creatures. They were very powerful indeed. They had the ability to tame any dragon, any, but the Red Demon Dragon. This special dragon was only tamable by Zelzor himself. Many have heard the tale of a flaming red Dragon seemed to be ridden by a god.

“The Ingles were detested by this. Ingolor was furious, so he declared war. We Grundells took the side of Zelzor. The war was intense with bloodshed and betrayal. Nearly all of the Zelzes were wiped out along with the Dragons. Zelzor knew that the only way to end the war was to face Ingolor head on. They fought each other brutally. The world shook under their powers. It was like a battle of two gods. Craters grew with each punch, tidal waves hit with each thrust, and mountains disintegrated with each spell. There was one last option for Ingolor; he cast the ultimate darkness spell, Vezborola. Zelzor had the perfect counter to this spell, Ruveneska! Ruveneska swallowed the energy of Vezborola and hit Ingolor directly. It has been said that Ingolor’s last words were, ‘I will come back with full force!’

“Zelzor has been alive this entire time. He has been hiding along with his Zelzes and Dragons. Many believe that Zelzes are just a myth, but we know the truth.”

Shuren was astonished. “Ruveneska, that is an amazing tale,” Shuren thought to himself. He simply could not believe that he was supposed to go through all of that.

“So Shuren, do you understand what you posses now?” Lloyd asked him blankly.

Karoline did not seem to care whether or not Shuren was this important. She almost seemed to have known all along that Shuren was this supposed incredible person. Still, Karoline had no intentions of treating or thinking of Shuren any different than she has been.

The aftershock lasted quite a while. It was another hour until Wresta fell asleep. Then Zeal did so. Lloyd was the last person to fall asleep before Shuren. He felt that he should be using his spare time to train. He nearly got up and began jogging, though before he decided to, he fell asleep.

The next morning Shuren was even sorer yesterday. Rollan gave the group a few more breaks, hoping to get Shuren time to rest. Shuren, persistent as ever, neglected to rest. When they sat down, Karoline nearly had to kick Shuren’s legs to make him fall. Shuren, as stubborn as ever, refused to. After a few hours of trying to get Shuren to rest, Karoline gave up.

Lloyd stood up from the rock that he was sitting on. He watched as Shuren did pushups on the ground. Soon, he turned his attention to the horizon ahead of them. According to his calculations, they would be able to see the tip of the mountain the next day.

He pulled out his canteen and took a swig of water. He screwed the cap quickly and walked towards Shuren. “Shuren, it’s time to depart.”

Shuren looked up to see who was speaking to him. He saw that it was Lloyd and did not argue. He sat down and took a breather. He used his under shirt to wipe off the sweat dripping down his face. He forced himself off of the ground and picked up the luggage he had been carrying. He wanted to cry when he remembered the weight of the bags.

They once again began to walk. It was well past noon and there was no sign of reaching their destination any time soon. Shuren took a long drink of water and slowly followed Rollan. Rollan, who never seemed to have any worries, just walked with his hands behind his back, not seeming tired the least bit.

After an hour of walking, Shuren’s second shirt was drenched with sweat. He had blisters on his hands and feet. Shuren also had hard time breathing. Things did not seem very well for Shuren. He could not handle his own labor much longer. Just as he was about to faint, Rollan ordered everyone to set up camp. Shuren was relieved.

The next day was even worse for Shuren. Shuren’s legs felt like hell. He collapsed three times. When he collapsed for the third time, past noon, Linkouz insisted on taking the load from Shuren. When Shuren refused to let him, Linkouz lifted Shuren off of the ground and began carrying him. Shuren finally agreed to let Linkouz carry the luggage if he put him down. Ajek and Rojan, on the other hand, had it easy carrying no luggage at all.

Shuren was enlightened by Linkouz’s offer. Shuren felt weightless for the first time in several days. As soon as he dropped the bags, he was full of energy. After only a few minutes of walking, Shuren offered to carry the luggage, though Linkouz just walked away from the question.

In the distance, Lloyd spotted what seemed to be a speck of rock in the prospect. He notified Rollan that it was the Zelzor’s mountain. Reassured that they were not behind schedule, Lloyd was able to walk in peace, though now dusk was approaching, and Rollan notified that it was time to set up camp soon.

Although the sun was barley up, Shuren could already see the moon, and it was full. Shuren recollected all of the past full moons. It was impossible to see so many full moons in such a short time period, and it was more than just a coincidence. Shuren now believed that full moons were bad omens. He was irritated, he knew something was about to happen.

The sun had finally set, and the bright moon was now in charge of providing light to the sky and Oryk below it. Rollan gave the signal for the group to set up camp. Everyone stopped to drop their bags. They began to start setting up until something stopped them.

Suddenly, a giant cloud hovered over the moon, leaving the field dark. Shuren gazed around the field, barley able to see anyone; he began to ask if everyone what is happening, but no one answered. An enormous thunderstorm appeared. A black bolt of lightning struck the ground before them, causing the field to rise with smoke. Shuren wielded his scimitar and warned everyone else to arm themselves. The smoke stopped rising only to reveal three tall slender men dressed black leather coats. The man in front had a sword sheathed on his hip. The one on the left was carrying a double-side sword and the last one was carrying a gigantic axe. Shuren remembered encountering these people at the graveyard while rescuing Rollan.

“Where are we headed?” asked the man in the front, referring to the group.

“None of your business!” shrieked Karoline. She unsheathed her two daggers from her back and put herself in a defensive position. She glared at the men with detest.

“No need to be rude, traitor!” said the man on the left. He tried to dash towards her, but the man in the front stopped him, almost apprehensively. He put his hand on the pommel of his sword.

“I’ll take care of it,” the man on the right said, lifting his axe and placing it on his shoulder.

“Who are they?” asked Lloyd nervously. Shuren could see that the grip on his bow was loose.

“I don’t know, but they’re strong,” Shuren warned. He took a deep breath, for he knew that this was not going to be an easy battle.

The man rammed through Nina and Zeal, and went straight after Shuren. Shuren readied himself and blocked a downward strike from his axe. Shuren backed up and got in an offensive position. The man smiled, he sprinted toward Shuren’s left, and then quickly shifted to his right, giving him an opening. Shuren was ready though, he dodged it. Out of his peripheral vision, Shuren saw a fist coming towards his cheek; he couldn’t do anything to stop it. Shuren was sent hurtling on the ground by one jab. Karoline saw an opening and tried to strike, but before her foot even lifted off the ground, she was also sent hurtling on the ground.

“Weaklings,” the man spat. “Are you sure that he is the one? He was awfully easy to defeat.” It took Shuren a few moments to realize that they were talking about him.

“Yes he is, he is carrying the blade,” the first man said tranquilly. It was very clear that the first man was in charge.

“It wouldn’t hurt to kill him, well to him it might,” joked the other man.

Shuren was lifted off the ground by the man. Ajek and Rojan charged at the man, but it was futile, they were injured and on the floor on pain. Shuren did not even notice that Linkouz, Strata, Rollan, Zeal and Lloyd were being held as hostages.

“If you want your friends to live, come with us, drop your weapon,” the first man said.

Shuren was in no position to argue. He reluctantly dropped his scimitar with a loud clang.

“Good,” the first man said. Though his hood covered his face, Shuren could tell he was smiling malevolently.

Shuren saw Rojan twitch, he knew what was about to happen. Rojan forced himself out of the man’s control. He knocked the man down and helped everyone else get free. The distraction gave Shuren a chance to break free. Shuren jolted out of the man’s clutches and onto the floor. He picked up his scimitar quickly and dashed forward getting out of his reach. Now, everyone was free and conscious.

“I see you will not go the easy way,” smirked the first man. He raised his arms and summoned a bunch of zombies. Lloyd attacked the man with the axe first. Karoline was left with the man with a double sword, and Shuren was challenged by the first man. The others were stuck fighting the sea of zombies.

Shuren could see that Karoline and Lloyd was no match for the men in black. Shuren also had little chance of winning. The man unsheathed his sword revealing a viscous sharp sword. The blade was rigid and razor sharp. He made a gesture with his hand, Shuren could he was being mocked. He made a quick movement and before Shuren could react, he was knocked back onto the ground. Shuren jolted off the ground and tried to counterattack but failed. The man took his blade and swiped it against Shuren’s chest leaving a bloody gash. Shuren cried in pain as he collapsed on the man. The man grabbed Shuren’s neck severely choking him. Shuren tried to slash the man with his blade, but his arm ceased to move.

“Pathetic,” the man commented. He tightened his grip, causing Shuren to choke in his face. The man punched Shuren in the gut for spitting on his face. Shuren began to pay attention to what was happening to around him. The Sleepwalkers were being fought off easily, but they kept coming. Rollan destroyed the zombies a lot at a time with only one spell. Karoline was losing the fight along with Lloyd.

Shuren felt a sudden burst of energy. He threw himself off of the man. Adrenaline was pumping through his blood. He slashed at the man who barley dodged it. Shuren continued to throw swings at the man and managed to give him a few cuts. The man was very confused and surprised, but this was not enough to take him down. He began to use his blade for combat and Shuren’s moment in battle was over. With his sword, he could block the blows and counter, but his counters were in vain. Shuren easily blocked his strikes along with ones of his own. This was a battle simply of who could strike the most first. Shuren was beginning to get tired, and his rampage soon began to slow down. The man saw this flaw and gave a gigantic blow to his stomach from his knee. Shuren was on the ground clutching his stomach. The sounds of battling were muted, and Shuren began to feel deaf. There was no sound.

Suddenly, Shuren heard one sound, the sound of a dragon roar. Shuren looked up with the man facing the point of his blade towards Shuren. The man also heard the roar; they both looked up at the sky to see a massive sapphire colored dragon circling above them. It soared down toward the battle and caught the man off guard. The man was sent flying backward into a pile of zombies. The dragon landed before Shuren, with a Zelze on top on it. The Zelze looked as mystical as they were described. Pointy ears, elfish face, and dragon like features, his appearance enlightened Shuren’s mood.

The man stood himself up. He hollered something at the men, and then another lightning bolt struck the ground. Smoke rose from the ground concealing them, when the smoke cleared up, they were gone, along with the zombies. The giant cloud that covered the moon no longer existed, and the darkness was filled with moonlight.

Shuren stared in amazement trying to comprehend what just happened. The Zelze began to walk toward Shuren, and Shuren couldn’t help but pass out.

* * *

Shuren heard voices, but was unable to make who was talking.

“He is alive . . . right?” asked a voice apprehensively. The voice was a soft unfamiliar feminine voice.

“Yes, he will be fine,” another said. This one was a confident and almost intelligent sounding.

“Oh great, inform me when he awakens,” said the other voice, seeming reassured.

Shuren struggled to open his eyes. He could barely make out what was around him. Sunlight lit the room. He was covered in sheets, and was comfortable for the first time in a while. His chest was covered with bandages. He seemed to be in a room with two giant windows. The walls were white; it seemed more like an enchanted room. As if it was a dream. There was a shelf of what seemed to Shuren to be books. He tried to get up, but pain surged throughout his body. He was now sure it was not a dream.

“Oh sir, you are awake!”

“Where am I?” Shuren asked dryly. His throat was sore. He coughed a few times before he felt a something in front of him.

“Here drink this,” said the person. Shuren still could not see the person clearly, but he was sure it was a female voice. She walked over to a night stand and lifted a cup to Shuren’s mouth. Shuren gracefully drank. It was sweet and smooth, and gave Shuren energy. Shuren could see clearly now and he was wide awake. The pain slowly ceased and Shuren was able to sit up. He could see that he was being treated by a Zelze. Her appearance was similar to the Zelze he saw before; elegant. Other than that, she was exceptionally beautiful. “Your friends are safe and all well, you were the only one who slept this long.”

“How long have I been asleep?” Shuren pondered out loud. He handed the cup back to her.

“About two days,” She answered simply. She turned around and walked back to a stand. She put the cup down and lifted up a pot of what smelled like tea.

“I was asleep for two whole days?!” Shuren exclaimed. Shuren searched through his memory for his last event. He vaguely remembered being punched in the gut, and then saved by a Zelze.

She nodded refilling the cup with more drink. “My name is Artha,” she said smiling.

Shuren looked at her and smiled. It was nice to have a good person take care of him after what‘s happened. “Oh, I’m Shuren-” He began.

“No need, I know exactly who you are,” she replied with a big smile. Her white teeth were a perfect combination to her face.

“What do you mean?” Shuren began to think of how they even knew that the group was coming in the first place.

“You are the one who will stop Garland. You are the one who save us all. You are the Ruven.”

Shuren paused before saying anything. “Where am I?”

“You are at Lord Zelzor’s mountain,” she said.

Ruveneska, Chapter 8: Healing Memories by Darro

Shuren had a hard time sleeping that night. It was that dream that continued to on haunting him but this time; it was different, clearer, and more petrifying.

Shuren once again was the baby but this time, he was not about to catch fire. He was in a nice warm room with two other Grundells, a male and female. He was in the female’s arms on a wooden chair. It was swinging back and forth. The wind was blowing Shuren’s face as he went forward. His eyes were on the fire burning across from him. His father, at the table, was chipping off some wood from a block, trying to make a figure from it.

There was a loud scream from outside. Shuren’s father was lifted off his chair, he dropped his knife in which he was using. He knocked the table over and ripped off a floorboard. From that he unsheathed a long broadsword.

Shuren was lifted and carried by his mother. His father whispered something to his mother and signaled for her to run away. She jolted out of the back door and ran through the forest. Shuren was now wailing in his mother’s arms, and so was she. She was trying to calm him down, but he cried even louder.

Then there was another scream, but it came from Shuren’s house. There were sounds of metal striking metal, like a battle, followed by a sound of metal striking wood. Soon there was the scream of Shuren’s father, and he then collapsed on the floor. Shuren could see through the thick forest, Gippies invading the village, as he was told. Then, he saw something that he did not expect to see. Along with the herd of Gippies, there was a small infantry of Sleepwalkers. Shuren then saw a Gippy run out Shuren’s back door. Shuren’s mother then sent him out of her arms deep into the forest. Somehow he stopped crying, but was staring at the burning forest in front of him. “Run! Leave!” he thought. There was another scream, but this time it was from his mother, she fell to the floor, covered in blood. “NO!” Shuren rolled around, seeing Bastian pulling his sword from his mother’s body. “YOU BASTARD, BASTIAN!” He turned and ran the opposite direction. As soon as Bastian turned the corner, Shuren once again started crying. He felt arms lifting him from underneath him. He was then carried away.

Shuren woke up screaming, sweaty, with tears streaming down his face. In front of him was Rollan. Rollan was staring blankly at Shuren, as if he was spaced out.
“Excuse me Rollan?” Shuren nudged him, wiping away tears. Rollan did nothing but stare with his eyes wide open. “Hello, Rollan?” Shuren said once more. Rollan stiffened up and his pupils turned back to a grayish color. It seemed like Rollan was asleep with his eyes wide open.
“Huh?” Rollan said plainly.
“What were you doing just now . . .?” Shuren asked in relief, but still quite freaked.
Rollan then focused on Shuren, who was staring at him dumbfounded. “I’m sorry, Shuren, what did you dream of just now?” Rollan asked straitening himself up.
“What do you mean?” Shuren asked, again confused.
“I heard you screaming, in your sleep, ‘Run, leave!’ you said,” Rollan informed Shuren.
“It . . . was a nightmare, just a nightmare,” Shuren said, trying to keep it a secret.
“No, it was more. You had just dreamt of that night again haven’t you?”
“What do you mean again? How do you know about my dreams?”

“Just now, Shuren, I was watching your dream. I saw the whole thing,” Rollan said as he turned to look out the tent.
“You can do that?” asked Shuren. Rollan nodded.
“This is uncommon, especially for a Ruven. It appears that when you are asleep, your energy goes out of control.”
“When I’m asleep?”

“Yes, if we don’t get rid of it, your mind might get out of control; I have never seen it before.”

“All when I’m asleep?”
“Yes, it is also in which the state that you are closest to the dead.”
“Does that mean I may be able to talk to my parents?”
“Not necessarily. When you are unconscious, souls can communicate to you, but only in your dreams,” Rollan explained.
“And... my parents are able to talk to me in my dreams?!?” Shuren asked overly excited.
“You have to figure that out for yourself. However we must solve this dream problem before it is fatal,” Rollan said.
“How am I supposed to solve a dream?” questioned Shuren.
“By defeating it,” he said firmly

Shuren looked at Rollan insanely but remained the same.
“This dream is a problem. You can solve it by defeating it. The way you can do that, is to go inside your dream and do what you have to do,” Rollan explained.
“You mean, like kill Bastian?” Shuren asked getting excited once again. Rollan nodded.
“In a way,” Rollan answered.
“How is that possible?” Shuren asked.
“Wait until I call for you,” Rollan said. Rollan then closed his eyes still in a sitting position.
Shuren also tried to go to sleep, but the entire time he thought about what he had figured out the other day. He was the one destined to stop a war. The one destined to save the world? He didn’t believe it. He couldn’t believe it. Though for some reason he knew he was. He always felt he had something great, something that kept him alive. All of those sudden bursts of energy must have been the result of him having a special power.
The next morning Shuren woke up in his tent rather late. The sun had risen and was in the middle of the sky being blocked by no clouds. Shuren had an empty feeling in his stomach. It was growling of hunger. There was a smell of deliciousness that made it moan even louder. Shuren leaped out of the tent and saw that everyone else had already left to do their daily chores. Grundells were up and about of the village, some with water canteens, buckets of milk, wheat, and other things from the village dairy. Shuren rushed through the village to see what was making that tasty smell.
Shuren arrived at a Porchlin -chicken like bird- on a rotisserie being controlled by Lloyd. “Lloyd, you can cook?”
“There is a festival tomorrow,” Lloyd explained to him after nodding to Shuren’s question.
“Veryala is the name of this village?” Shuren asked. Lloyd nodded. A festival was just what Shuren needed to calm down. He needed to have a good time. Something to calm his nerves would do him a lot of good. Shuren then stared at the rotisserie, and back at Lloyd, “What’s the festival about?”
“It’s in honor of our ancestors who fought to keep us alive. It is fun, and it is actually tomorrow. The main event is a fighting tournament.”

Shuren was excited by this. He had to participate; this may be one of his last chances to relax before the war began. “I’ll join.”

“Good. Should you choose to go to Lord Zelzor’s Mountain, you should relax and have fun while you still can. War is a terrible thing and should only be fought for the right reasons. We are fighting to save the world from another period of slavery under the Ingles,” explained Lloyd. Shuren felt courageous after this speech. Lloyd offered some to Shuren, and Shuren gladly ate it. It was the most delicious thing Shuren has ever tasted. The flavorful marinated Porchlin meat left his taste buds wanting more. Shuren savored the taste with every bite.
“Wow Lloyd, this is delicious!” Shuren exclaimed.
“Years of perfection,” Lloyd answered.
Shuren then thought of an idea that would make his day. He finished his last piece of Porchlin and ran back to the campsite. He found Karoline and dusted himself off trying to act nonchalant, but failing miserably.
“Hey, Karoline,” Shuren said as innocent as he could. He tried to seem as if he weren’t nervous, but he couldn’t but not look at her directly.
“What?” she asked. She seemed to be clueless as of what was about to happen.
“There’s a festival tomorrow and . . .” Shuren began. Before he finished, Karoline interrupted.
“What is it?” she asked again.
“Would you like to go with me to it . . .?” Shuren asked Karoline out. He looked around, hoping that no one was watching.
“Like as in just us two?” asked Karoline as she rose her eyebrows.

“Uh yea, kind of exactly,” said Shuren nodding. He waited for a few seconds, when she did not answer him; he asked again, “Would you?”
She paused for a moment. Karoline looked as if she were thinking it over. “No,” Karoline said firmly.

Shuren felt his face get hot. “Oh, farewell then,” Shuren said as he departed quickly, hoping to not be embarrassed any more than he already has been.
Shuren and Lloyd then went to the center of Veryala to help with the festival. The village center looked exciting and colorful with decorations for the big event that was to be tomorrow. A big wooden built stage was set up, along with golden curtains and stools to be sat on. Shuren arrived here and immediately broke free of Lloyd. Shuren went to an old Grundell woman. She signaled for Shuren put up a wooden sign that read: Fortune Telling 1 kindo! He then helped her paint the stand with red and blue paint, giving the stand a shine with gloss afterward. She paid Shuren ten kindos for his services. The payment of the lady gave Shuren the idea to help out more Grundells.
Shuren walked around more and saw a Grundell family near a tree needing help with their stand. He jogged toward them and offered to help. They accepted his offer and told him the instructions. He was to climb up the tree and tie two ropes at the very top so it would dangle down for people to climb. He then had to tie two more ropes connecting two branches across from each other. This was not an easy task for Shuren. The first problem was that he was not a very good climber; the next thing was that the sticks and twigs that came out of the branches would cut Shuren.

Shuren tightened the climbing gloves he was given. He jumped onto a low branch and pulled himself up. The branch he was to tie the rope on was nearly ten feet above his arms reach. He jumped on another nearby branch, lifting himself up several feet. After he repeated this process a few times, Shuren was able to tie the ropes to the branch. He called for the Grundell below. He threw Shuren the ropes. He triple knotted each rope. Than the Grundell threw Shuren two more ropes. He tied one end of each rope on one branch. He took the other ends and threw them onto the branch across from him. Shuren carefully climbed across two think branches to reach the other side. He grabbed the ropes and tied them tightly to the long branch. Once he was finished, he tested out the ropes by climbing his way back on them. Shuren reached the two ropes that dangled down and slid down one rope.

Shuren was sweating by the time he reached the ground. It was hard work, but the reward was well worth it. He was paid sixty kindos! He asked what the ropes were for, and it turned out to be an obstacle course.
The next few Grundells Shuren helped were pretty well paying also, and easy tasks as well. One of them, Shuren was to constantly fill buckets of water and bring them back. Another was that Shuren was to collect a large number of fruits, such Rascleberries, Dark Neptums, Red Templas, and Blue Brizzles. By the end of the day Shuren had already made two hundred kindos. He decided to save it for the festival the next day.
Shuren thought about Karoline and remembered how she turned him down earlier that day. Shuren wondered if she was even going to go. Shuren stopped thinking about it, and he ran to catch up with Lloyd.
Shuren found him in front of his cabin. He told him about Karoline. “She seems to like you a lot,” Lloyd said before heading back to his own cabin.
Shuren walked to his own tent muttering, “Yea, right.”
The next day Shuren was exhilarated. The festival was something to look forward to. For the first time, Shuren was about to have real fun.
Many Grundells crowded the stands at the festival. Shuren went to the first he saw immediately. It was an archery game. Shuren was given three flame arrows. The goal of the game was to shoot a flame arrow through three hoops, each not at the same level of height, lighting each one along the way, and the arrow had to light a patch of hay at the end of the course. This seemed to be a very difficult game, just the challenge Shuren was looking forward to.

He paid for the game and grabbed a bow and the arrows. He placed the flaming arrow on the side of the bow, and pulled the string and tail backwards. Shuren let go and the arrow shot through the first two hoops, only lighting two. The arrow did not make it to the third. The first arrow did not make it, but Shuren hoped for the second or third to make it. He grabbed the second arrow and took aim. He had to concentrate hard, and not to think of all the Grundells watching him play. He shot the arrow, which missed horribly. The third was his last arrow, he took strong aim, and shot. It went through three hoops and lit the patch of hay. Shuren won the game within three shots. He cheered, jumped for joy, and claimed his prize, which was a mini bow and arrow.
Lloyd soon showed up after Shuren claimed his prize. He did not seem to notice Shuren, but Shuren stayed anyway. Lloyd paid for the stand, and took his bow and arrows. Lloyd armed all three arrows and took aim. He shot all three arrows at once, and each one of them flew through all three hoops and lit the hay. Lloyd did what Shuren did in one trial. Shuren was surprised, but not so much after recollecting the events of the other day.
Shuren continued with a few more games. The next fun game Shuren enjoyed was another ranged game. He was given ten knives to take down nine moving targets. Shuren grabbed his knives and began to play. The inside of the stand was many things able to hide targets until they are needed, such as rocks, barrels and other things. The first target emerged from out of the floor. Shuren took quick aim and struck the target near the center. There was only one target down. Then another target came out of the right wall. Shuren hit it. Suddenly two targets came from the ceiling. Shuren only had enough time to shoot one knife, and he missed. Shuren had to get ready for two, so he took two knives into hand. Two more targets appeared in a circular motion. Shuren hit both of them. This time there were three targets. Shuren hit all of them. His total score was a seven out of nine. Shuren was tired of that game; he wanted to do something more challenging.
Shuren walked around and found Karoline at her own rather large stand, complete with a furnace, anvil, and pool of water.
“Karoline?” asked Shuren on sight.
“What is it?” she replied. She was wearing an apron with her hair tied up. She had gloves on and had a pair of metal tongs, which was clamping a long sword in the furnace. Karoline took the sword out of the furnace, blazing red, and placed it on the anvil. She took a hammer and hammered down the sides to give it a sharp blade. She then began to work on the point. Then she dipped the sword into the pool of water that steamed on contact.
“Never mind,” Shuren said back. “I’ll leave you to your work.”
She placed the sword into a leather sheath and set it aside. “This is the last sword.”
“Where did you get all of this?” Shuren asked.
“I paid this guy to borrow it,” she replied smiling back. She took off her apron and let down her hair. “I’m done for today.” A Grundell man came up to her stand and paid her forty kindos. She then handed him the sword she just created.
The two of them went to go have fun at the festival. They even played a game for a pair.

They approached a long stand where the stand owner offered them a game; the cost was only twenty kindos. The premise of this game was that Karoline was tied up at the top of a tall wooden post. They would light the post at the bottom with fire, and Shuren had to shoot knives to untie her and free her from the flaming embers.
Karoline began to panic, “Uh oh, Shuren is horrible at throwing knives.” She recalled the events from a few days ago when they were traveling to Hogony from her group. She began to panic even more.
Shuren took aim. The stand owner lit the post, and Shuren shot his first knife. It was a miss. Karoline winced as it hit right above her head, nearly chopping a few of her hairs. Shuren shot his second knife; he barely nipped the rope, cutting a tiny slit. This was his last knife, the fire was rising, and Karoline was getting hot. Shuren closed his eyes and shot his knife with all of his possible force. He opened his eyes to see Karoline off of the post, and the stand owner putting out the fire. Karoline was relieved.
“Let’s never do that again,” Karoline said. She was still shaking from the game.
There was a horn sounding from the forest neighboring the village. “What’s that?” Shuren wondered out loud.

“It’s time for the tournament!” a Gippy called out, “all contestants come to the back entrance of the stadium!”

“Are you going to enter?” asked Shuren.

“Na, I don’t want to…” she replied calmly. “Wait here.” Karoline ran somewhere Shuren couldn’t see. After a few moments she came sprinting back with a scimitar similar to Shuren’s blade in her hands. She handed it to him, “Here, it’s designed just like yours so it won’t be hard to handle.”

“Wow Karoline, thanks.” Shuren said and began to walk toward the trail of Grundells.

“I’ll be watching!” Karoline called from behind.

Shuren followed the trail of strong Grundells to the back of the stadium. The stadium was a huge oval like figure. It rose high in the air and nothing could be seen from outside. Nothing but trees surrounded Shuren. It was hidden in the Dead Forest, and it was not easily found alone. Shuren reached the back and waited in line. It was his turn to sign up. He gave his information to the Grundell at the desk. Then Shuren proceeded onward into the waiting room of the stadium. In the room were a few other Grundells. Each looked as strong as the next. Some Grundells were sparring, others were resting. Shuren found Lloyd in the room also resting. He did not start a conversation, but instead he decided to rest. After a few minutes, the amount of people in the room doubled. After the registrations were over, a Grundell came in the room and began explaining rules.

“Alright guys, this is all just for fun, now there is a prize involved, but don’t kill each other for it. The rules are same as last year: Fight until someone gives up or is knocked out. Magic is allowed as long as no one in the crowd is hurt. These are the matches: Linkouz vs. Strata, Lloyd vs. Wresta, Halef vs. Shuren, and Zeal vs. Nina. Now those of you whose names did not get called, you folks did not make the cut, so I’m sorry but you will have to watch from the stands.” After the man said this, people complained and left. Shuren began to fell bad for those who did not get chosen.

Soon, another Grundell led the people out of the waiting room and into a side box. Shuren could now see the people in the crowd; it was the whole Grundell Village. There was nearly one hundred people watching and cheering. Shuren started to feel nervous, and regretted signing up.

Shuren was introduced to everyone left in the room. There was Linkouz, a mighty Grundell on whom Shuren was to be executed by. Zeal was a female Grundell who was a few years younger than Shuren. She had short dark blond hair and a soft face. There was also Nina, a deadly female warrior, Wresta, who was very similar to Linkouz, Strata, a surprisingly small but quick male Grundell and Halef who seemed to have a bad temper and a jerk.

“The first match: Linkouz Pretoriar versus Strata Anomia!” announced a Grundell in the middle of the arena. Shuren wished them good luck as they walked out into the center of the arena. “1! 2! 3! FIGHT!” the match started.

Linkouz dashed back and wielded his long sword. Strata put up his fist and got into a fighting stance. Shuren thought this was an unfair match up. Linkouz had a weapon and Strata didn’t seem to have anything but his fist; he could not block from slashes from Linkouz’s sword. Strata made the first move. He sprinted towards Linkouz and hopped to his left dodging a slash from Linkouz. Shuren watched in amazement as how fast Strata could run. Shuren was barley able see his movements. Strata appeared behind Linkouz in the blink of an eye. He fiercely punched Linkouz on the back. Linkouz let out a wail, and spun around with a fast swipe of his sword. Strata ducked and tripped Linkouz leaving Linkouz to tumble on the ground. Linkouz recovered quickly and tried to slash Strata again. Strata was caught off guard and could only move enough to not get killed, he leaned backward but was left with a long cut on his right arm. Red blood gashed out of his arm as he fell backward. Linkouz placed a foot on his stomach and placed his sword towards his neck. A bell sounded that ended the fight, Linkouz won. Shuren watched in relief that no one was hurt severely. Linkouz helped Strata off the ground and showed good sportsmanship.

“The winner is: Linkouz! Please wait patiently as the next fight prepares!” the announcer said.

Strata and Linkouz walked back to the side box with reassurance.

“Next is you and Wresta,” Shuren said to Lloyd. “Are you nervous?”

Lloyd was as calm as usual, “No, I am not. I hope that he will put up a challenge.” Shuren could tell he was not bluffing. Shuren took a glance around; nobody seemed to be nervous or scared except Shuren.

“Now it is time for the second Match: Lloyd Echar versus Wresta Colston!” yelled the announcer.

Lloyd and Wresta walked out into the arena. Lloyd was carrying his bow and with his quiver on his back filled with sharp arrows. Wresta carried two short swords on each hip. They stopped in the middle of the arena.

“1! 2! 3! FIGHT!”

The fight began. Shuren was rooting for Lloyd deep down, but rooted for both out loud. Wresta began by unsheathing both swords. Lloyd slowly armed his bow while making a distance between them. He aimed for Wresta’s thigh. He shot, but it was futile as Wresta blocked it. Lloyd grinned and shot another arrow that missed. Wresta was began to get impatient and charged at Lloyd. Lloyd, surprised that Wresta would make a move, rearmed his bow quickly. Lloyd dodged the attack and shot two arrows, one missed and the other hit the back of Wresta’s arm, causing him to drop his sword. Lloyd quickly picked it up and struck Wresta. Wresta, still in pain, blocked it with his last sword. They dueled with two swords until Lloyd tripped Wresta and he fell to the ground, Lloyd bent over and hand chopped him on a certain point on the neck. Wresta was knocked out cold.

“The winner is: Lloyd Echar!”

Lloyd bowed and walked back to the side box. Shuren complimented him on his victory.

It was now Shuren’s turn. Shuren gripped his replica blade. He looked at Halef who had a smirk on his face. Halef returned a dirty look. Lloyd came up to Shuren and whispered in his ear, “Crush him.” Shuren laughed as he loosened up.

“Next up we have Shuren Willans versus Halef Crude!” Shuren walked out of the arena staring at the people, searching for Rollan and Karoline. He spotted them both along with Saron. Shuren was delighted to see them there.

Halef was carrying a broadsword on his back with an overconfident look on his face. Shuren kept a straight calm face throughout.

“1! 2! 3! FIGHT!”

Halef immediately struck Shuren, who barley had enough time to block. Halef was quick with such a massive sword. He struck horizontally but Shuren dodged it. Shuren found an opening and kneed Halef in the gut. Halef counter with a slash that cut Shuren’s leg. They exchanged slashes that were blocked by the other. Finally, Shuren overpowered Halef and knocked him in the face and onto the ground. Shuren won.

“And the winner is: Shuren!” the announcer said.

Shuren walked back to the side box, satisfied and ecstatic. Shuren sat down next to Lloyd. In the background, Shuren head the announcer call out: “FIGHT!” Nina and Zeal were fighting each other.

Shuren took a deep breath and said, “Wow, Lloyd this is so much fun.” Shuren really was enjoying himself. This was one of the first times he fought an opponent for fun.

“Yes, this event is one we look forward to every year. All year long, some people prepare for the tournament. Others prepare for food and stands to make money. Though this is the first time we’ve have outsiders that weren’t Grundells join the festival,” Lloyd explained. In the back ground, Shuren heard a large clashing sound of steel, followed by surprised and cheering viewers.

“This winner is: Zeal!” the announcer shouted. An eruption of cheer and applaud followed. Nina and Zeal walked into the box, and began to be healed.

Linkouz and Lloyd were now supposed to fight. Shuren wished him good luck, and Linkouz also. They walked out onto the battlefield, fully healed. They stood in the center, directly across from each other. Lloyd pulled out his arrow and touched points with Linkouz’s tip.

“Now, for the first match of the semi-finals, we have Lloyd Echar against Linkouz Pretoriar! 1! 2! 3! FIGHT!”

Lloyd jumped, expecting Linkouz to strike first. He did not. For a moment, he stood motionless. Lloyd pulled out an arrow and shot quickly. Linkouz saw that the arrow was moving toward his right shoulder. In a split second, Linkouz shifted his body weight to his left. He dodges the arrow and managed to gain balance. He charged after Lloyd, hoping that moving would make it more difficult for Lloyd. Lloyd predicted his movement and shot at his leg. It skimmed his left leg. Linkouz ignored his cut and struck Lloyd. Lloyd quickly pulled out a steel arrow and blocked it. Linkouz drew back and attempted to tackle him. Lloyd was caught off guard, causing him to be sent back several feet. Lloyd rolled backwards to have his feet on the ground. He stood up and shot another arrow. The arrow swooshed through the air and was lodged into Linkouz’s forearm. Linkouz took the arrow out of his arm and threw it on the ground. He charged at Lloyd again, but this time, Lloyd shot an arrow into his thing, causing to fall the ground. Linkouz could no longer fight, Lloyd won.

“The winner is: Lloyd!” Shuren, along with the crowd, cheered and applauded loudly. The two of them limped back into the box to be healed. Shuren prepared himself to fight Zeal. She carried two daggers with her, similar to Karoline’s. Shuren knew that this would be a close combat battle. They were called out. Shuren and Zeal walked out into to center. They touched tips.

“Now, the final match of the semi-finals: Shuren Willans against Zealdera Skelter! 1! 2! 3! FIGHT!”

The battle began. Zeal readied herself. Shuren charged at her. He jumped and slashed downward. Zeal used both blade in a cross formation to block Shuren’s attack. Shuren drew back and decided to wait for her to attack. They began walking around in a circle, across from each other. Zeal made a quick gesture. Shuren, thinking that she was going to attack duck and rolled out of the way. She did not move. Shuren rolled on the ground for no apparent reason. In the crowd, there was laughter. While Shuren was still on the ground, Zeal dashed towards Shuren. Shuren lie on his back and saw her coming. She lifted her daggers and stabbed at Shuren. He rolled to dodge it. She still managed to pin his leather vest onto the ground. She took her other dagger and slashed at Shuren. Shuren forced his vest to tear to avoid getting sliced. He moved back just in time to get away with a long cut on his arm. Shuren realized that her dagger was stuck on the ground. He quickly came up to her. He kicked her dagger. It unearthed and flew away from the area. Shuren began to send a barrage of attacks at Zeal. Zeal, which had only one small dagger, could barley block any of them. With one powerful strike, Shuren knocked her blade straight into the ground. She reached down for it, but before she could, Shuren pointed his tip at her neck. Shuren won the match.

“The winner is: Shuren Willans!” Shuren wanted to jump for joy, but he did not feel that it was appropriate in front of so many people. He waited until he was in the box to celebrate. He held out his hand and helped Zeal off of the ground. They walked into the box to be healed. “There will be a fifteen minute intermission until the final match,” the announcer said as he walked into the box.

Shuren decided to spend his fifteen minutes to relax. Shuren lay on a comfortable laid out mattress alone in his room. In the room were refreshments, mainly tea and fruits. Shuren ate a few rascleberries as he drank some tea. On a desk beside the mattress, Shuren found a new brown leather vest. He wore it, replacing his ripped one. There was a knock at the door. It was time to fight the final match. Shuren walked outside and into the side box, where Lloyd waited patiently.

“The final match: Lloyd Echar versus Shuren Willans!”

Both Shuren and Lloyd walked out into the arena. They were both exhausted and were ready to collapse. They wished each other luck.

“1! 2! 3! FIGHT!”

Shuren knew what strategy he had to use against Lloyd. He had to use the same one from the other day. Lloyd immediately shot three arrows at once. He was not holding back. Shuren knew that they were heading towards his arms. Shuren dodged them all. Shuren picked up and arrow and placed it in his pocket without Lloyd noticing. Lloyd shot three more and Shuren dodged them again. Shuren used his agility to dash toward Lloyd and dodge arrows consistently. Shuren was finally close enough to strike. Lloyd shot a very swift arrow. Shuren was alarmed by this. He tried to dodge it, but it cut Shuren’s left arm. Shuren slashed Lloyd on his underarm. Then Shuren pulled out the arrow that he picked up earlier and stabbed Lloyd’s other arm. Lloyd could no longer use his arms. Lloyd gave up.

“The winner of the Veryala Tournament is: SHUREN WILLANS!” screamed the announcer. The crowd roared with excitement. Shuren was surprised by how loud they were.

“What if someone hears us?” Shuren asked the announcer.

The announcer laughed, “Don’t worry, there is a magical barrier.”

Shuren was simply delighted. He had never won anything before. Shuren savored every moment of it.

Shuren walked back to the side box to see Saron using magic on Lloyd. She seemed to be healing his injuries. She signaled Shuren to get his injuries also treated.

The main Grundell walked in with a small leather bag in his hand filled with kindos. “Here you go kid, the prize.” Shuren accepted it with pride.

Shuren left the stadium along with everyone else. He could not find Rollan, but he did find Karoline.

Shuren called out.

“Nice job,” she complimented. Shuren was alarmed. He could not remember her complimenting him before.

“Thanks,” said Shuren alarmed.

Shuren remembered that he needed to meet Rollan. He then thought about the dream he had earlier. His delightfulness turned into ominous.

Karoline looked at Shuren as he trembled lightly. She began to worry, “Shuren,” Karoline said interrupting Shuren’s pool of thought.
“Yes?” Shuren replied back, trying to act casual.
“I know what you’re thinking about. It’s that dream. I can sense it.”
“Well, yea, I’m supposed to conquer it somehow...”
“Let’s go and find Rollan,” Karoline told Shuren.
Shuren and Karoline went to search for Rollan who, quite actually, was easy to find. He was at the big bonfire in the center village. Rollan seemed quite distracted by the embers of the flame. His concentration was broken by the sounds of Shuren and Karoline.
“Yes?” asked Rollan without making eye contact.
“I was wondering about my dream. What am I going to do?” Shuren asked.
“I am glad that you asked me that, Shuren. It is about to take place.”
“What is?” asked Karoline looking around. There was a bed of hay on the ground, where Shuren was expected to lay.
“The event in which Shuren will conquer his dream is about to occur. I will send you into you dream, and you will find out what is causing you to have it,” explained Rollan.
“You mean right this instant?” Shuren asked. Rollan nodded.
Rollan nodded. “Go ahead and lie down, you’ll fall asleep instantly.”
“I still don’t get it…” said Shuren apprehensively.

“When you fall asleep, you will dream your nightmare, but while you sleep, I will enchant your mind, and I will bring out the source that is keeping the memory of it.”

“So, there is a thing that is bringing up the memory when I sleep?”

“Correct. I will bring it up and you will be able to defeat it. It was a gruesome sight, and Bastian may have had cast the spell on you. However, I am not sure what will happen after it comes out, that is up to you.”

“Let’s do it,” said Shuren firmly.

“Okay, lie down.”

Shuren did so. Just as Rollan said, he fell asleep.

As if Shuren woke up, he hopped off the floor, but he was not awake, he was in his dream. He was in his house with his scimitar. He saw his mother and father, doing the same as in the past dream. He studied his parents closely, discovering that he looked more like his father then his mother.

Soon, he heard a familiar scream that sent his mother out of the house, along with his baby form. Shuren tried to go outside of the house, but he couldn’t; it was beyond boundaries of his dream. After, Bastian entered the house. Shuren and his father were left alone to face Bastian, or as he thought. Shuren could not fight Bastian at all. He was forced to watch Bastian slay his father. Shuren ran after Bastian, who was chasing his mother. He still could not do anything. Soon his mother fell to the floor dead. Shuren’s helpless baby form was carried away, and Shuren was left with a burning house and forest. Suddenly, a part of Bastian appeared before Shuren. Shuren was infuriated at the sight. Shuren punched it in the face. It went flying back several yards. Shuren wielded his blade, screaming at the top of his lungs. Without hesitation, Shuren chopped it in two. The two halves bled out black smoke. It rose from the corpses until Shuren was surrounded in complete darkness. It appeared that Shuren was in the middle of nowhere. He was completely alone, he felt no warmth of a raging fire, no comfort of grass under his feet, nothing but darkness as far as his eye could see. Shuren then suddenly felt the presence of another person, or thing.
“Neruka,” called out a soft voice. Shuren spun around in which the direction the voice came from. There was nothing but darkness.
“Whose there?” Shuren called out. There was no answer.
“Neruka!” the soft voice called out again.
Shuren could not tell which direction the voice was coming from this time. It seemed to surround Shuren. Shuren then saw a white light appear far away. It was faint, but he went after. “Hey! Is anyone there?” called out Shuren. Yet again, there was no answer. Shuren continued to run toward the light, but the light got smaller, and fainter, as if it was running away. When Shuren stopped running toward the light, the light stopped also. Shuren started and so did the light. Soon the light evaporated from the darkness, and Shuren was left yet again all alone in pitch black darkness. “No!” Shuren yelled. The light was gone, but Shuren still felt the presence. It was if the light was tantalizing with him.
Suddenly, the light appeared right in front of Shuren, “Neruka!” it called out.
“What are you?” Shuren wondered, but somehow he knew. The presence felt so familiar, but so long lost.
“It’s me,” it said back.
“Mother. . . ” Shuren said slowly.
“Why did you call me ‘Neruka’?’” Shuren asked
“That is what I named you,” it said back.
“Where’s my father?” asked Shuren.
“Right here,” said another voice, and another light appeared. Shuren glared at what appeared to be his father. This light was darker than the other, but not by much.
“This is a crazy dream . . .” Shuren muttered.
“Yes, this may seem to be a dream to you, but we are really speaking to you,” Shuren’s mother said.
“Mother . . . I saw what happened to you, I hate Bastian! And father, you also got murdered!” Shuren shrieked.
“We’re just glad to see that you are alive and well, Neruka,” his Father replied.
“I’ll avenge you two . . .” Shuren said gripping his sword tightly.
“No Neruka, do not do that. That is the last thing we want you to do, to murder, that will get you nowhere! Neruka, do not hold grudges of the past. Do not slave over past memories, but create new ones, healing memories is the best you can do,” his Mother cried. The darkness surrounding the three began to brighten. His mother’s voice changed to a more serious tone. “Listen, Neruka. You must stop Garland! We do not wish to see Oryk perish by his hands. Only you can stop him.”
“Why does it have to be me?”
“Because of fate you have to. I am honored to have a son with such a duty,” she replied.
“It is time for us to leave son,” his Father said.
“No, don’t go yet! We have seventeen years to catch up!” Shuren hollered.

The two lights said nothing back. They disappeared as the darkness cleared up. Soon, Shuren was left with a light filled room, and Shuren was spun out of his dream.

Shuren woke up to see Karoline staring at him. Karoline looked as if she had been relieved of something. “What happened?” she asked anxiously.
“I met my parents . . .”
“In your sleep?” she said into deep thought. “I heard that is possible, but a very rare occurrence.
Shuren took a quick glance around, searching for Rollan, but he did not spot him anywhere. “Where is Rollan?”
“In his tent, he is resting,” Karoline answered back. She got up and dusted herself off. “I’m going back to work.”
Shuren went to look for Rollan. As he entered his tent, Shuren noticed that Rollan was awake.
“Rollan-” Shuren was able to say until he was interrupted.

“Ah, no need to tell me what you have experienced; I can see it, remember?” Rollan re-informed Shuren. Shuren nodded. “And yes, you really did talk to your parents.”
“How is that possible?”

“Souls can communicate with you when you are in your sleep, remember when I told you this?” Rollan said. Shuren nodded. “Shuren, we need to talk about your power. We cannot hold it off any longer.”
“I understand, Rollan. It is me who has to defeat Garland, but I don’t know how to control my power,” explained Shuren. Though he was unsure that he would make any difference in the war, he could not sit back and let Garland enslave Oryk.
“That is why we must take you to see Lord Zelzor. He will teach you Shuren. The village has already selected those who will escort us there, but there is one thing you must know about Ruveneska,” Rollan said extremely seriously.
“What is it, Rollan?” Shuren asked.

“It is a serious matter. You may not tell anyone of this until it is to happen,” Rollan said.

Shuren nodded. “I understand. What is it?”