Chapter 3:

Finding the Sword

Breck had never been outside the city walls before. At least not that he could remember. It wasn't at all like the marketplace, which often got extremely muddy. The trees here didn't look fake, there was actual grass, and there were more than songbirds. Breck looked up to see a hawk, diving for its prey. At that point the sun was just beginning to rise, and the whole sky was a beautiful blood red.

"Its pretty," he thought as he walked along the beaten path. He was really sorry about what happened to Gemma, but he made himself believe it wasn't his problem. He was really curious about the emerald fire though. What would have happened if he hadn't caught it? Could anyone catch it, or was it just him?

As Breck continued walking along the path, he came to a fork in the road. To the north, there was a dark forest that looked like it could be filled with any great number of evil beasts. To the east, the road looked more worn, and Breck could see civilization. He chose the path into the woods.

"There's no way I'm going to another town," he said to himself, "especially after what happened last night."

He found he didn't really care what happened to him anymore. He just wanted to be left alone. To wallow in his own self pity. A dark shadow had crossed over Breck.

"I don't care about her," he said out loud, but that just made him feel worse, because he really did care. He looked at the forest ahead of him, looming over. It was dark, but if he went in, at least his mind wouldn't be on Gemma anymore.

He came to the start of the forest and he walked in, without hesitation. The trees weren't the nice kind of trees. They were the old kind that scratched you with dead branches. The kind with roots that came up out of the ground to trip you and make you fall. The kind with so many leaves on top that they blocked out all sunlight.

Breck walked on the path for what seemed to be forever in that forest. When path came to a stop, Breck couldn't see it and he kept on going. He didn't turn around or change direction. He just went strait.

By that time, all the creatures of the forest had been altered to his presence. They all watched him now, as he grew closer and closer to what they called "The Thing."

"The Thing," was something wretched that killed all who touched it. It loomed in a clearing, kept clear by magic. All who it killed haunted the forest, and became slaves to all things evil. The animals watched as he grew closer and closer, they cleared away, because they knew he would soon be dead.

Breck had been walking for nearly five strait hours when the trees suddenly stopped. He blinked his eyes as they adjusted to the sudden sunlight. The forest had been so dark. Then everything came clear, and Breck looked around.

He had stumbled upon a clearing, where trees didn't grow. It was strange, because the grass didn't seem to grow either. It was seemed to have been a short length for a long time.

He took a step in and heard a crunch. When he looked down he gasped. There under his foot, was a skeleton, and not five feet away, was another. It was a bit disturbing.

Breck looked up and saw something he hadn't seen before. It was an odd figure, it looked like a rectangle boulder, but it had carvings on it. Breck walked up to it and saw that it had an inscription on it. The writing was not of the language of Doramâsë, but he found he could still read it. He began to read the inscription out loud to himself:

Here lies the treasure of a king,

The thing encased within this stone.

It is more precious than a ring,

That belongs to a ruler on his throne.

The one who removes it from its case,

Shall have it and its glory.

And shall be talked about everywhere,

Until he becomes a legend and story.

But be warned all ye who seek this treasure,

For strength is not enough alone.

If ye have not the smarts or measure,

You are better of at home.

All who try to open this,

And fail their utterly worse.

Shall become slaves unto the night,

And forever be under a curse.

Now make your choice, open or not?

Or think until it drives you mad.

Take a chance and try your luck,

Or forever wonder, "What if you had?"

This taunted Breck. He didn't know if he should try or not. What if he actually opened it? What if he didn't? What if he just left? If he could, then would everything said in the inscription become true? If he couldn't open it then he knew he would become another skeleton. Those questions ran through his mind over and over.

He paced around and around for hours, pausing to read the inscription again. Finally he just gave up and sat on the ground.

By nightfall, Breck was so tired; he thought he would collapse if he stood up. So he crawled over to the stone case, and decided he would lean on it, just for the night.

He settled himself and leaned on the case. Immediately the ground shook. Something came over Breck and without realizing it; he stood up and put his hands on the lid of the case. It became warm and Breck began to push. For a second, he jolted out of his trance and panicked, but then the lid began to slide.

A bright light came out of the case as he pushed more and more of the lid off. Then it toppled off and broke into five pieces on the ground. Inside the case was some sort of velvet cloth draped over some long object. The light that came from the case faded away, and Breck reached in and pulled away the cloth. Under that was a sword.

What little air Breck had, the sword took away. It gleamed beautifully in the moonlight. The handle seemed to have silver laid into a beautiful dark blue stone. Breck couldn't help what happened next. He reached in and lifted the sword carefully out of the case. With one hand on the handle and the other on the blade, Breck brought it the sword to eye level. With growing courage, he gripped the handle tight and swung the sword around a couple times. Then he jabbed the blade into the air, high above his head. The sword was his.

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