Unknown - Chapter 5
Alen closed the door behind him and let out a breath. The lamp post outside had burned out its last storage of energy and had been turned off. His room was pitch black save for the silver light projected into his room from the window. He swings his sling bag and threw them next to the bedside table. He wobbled his way to his bed. He rubbed his forehead then his eyes. His body ached with joy and fatigue. He pulled his sling bag and felt the clinks of one thousand and a hundred and fifty silver inside. It fascinates his senses, giving him something to boast about though he knew he only had Enil to boast about it to. He smiled and slumped to the bed. The sling bag flew past him and landed with a silent clank on the soft bed. Alen let out a breath again and closed his eyes.
“One thousand and a hundred and fifty silver…”, and he dozed to dreamworld.
“Alen!” he heard a voice calling him. Alen looked around in the darkness but he could see nothing. The sound of a metal pounded hard whispered to his ears. He turned around but still nothing came to his eyes.
“Alen! Wake up!” the voice called out to him again. Alen was ready; he had focused his ears to pinpoint the source of the sound. He turned towards what he thought to be the direction where the sound had came and walked to it.
“Alen! Damn it! Alen!” the voice was louder and Alen’s body stopped. It shuddered then gasped for air.
Alen startled. He grabbed the air but realized that he was dreaming. The sun had dipped to the west and the pounding on his door was relentless. Alen massaged his forehead and looked to the door. “Wait, I’m coming!” he shouts back.
The door swing open and Enil stepped inside, sweat on his forehead. His hair was messy and his clothes were unkept. Alen looked at his friend as he paced to and fro his kitchen, hands grabbing his mouth and chin and wiping the sweat on his forehead. “What happened to you?”
Enil looked at him. He was startled at first, but gained his composure. Alen poured warm water into a mug and held it to his friend. Enil took the mug and emptied it. “Akamz”, the answer was short and not what Alen had expected. He looked at Enil. “What about him?”
Enil paced the room again. Sweat poured down his forehead. Alen grabbed his arms and sat him down on the bed. Enil’s feet tapped the floor, his eyes darts around the room. “He’s…”, he bites his nails. “He’s what?”, Alen looked to Enil’s eyes, there was fear, that he could tell. “He’s dead”.
“What? When? How?”
Enil bites his nails again. “I don’t know, I just knew about it this morning. The whole mining district is on high alert; the administration district was busy managing the patrols and watchers around the surrounding district”. His feet tapped faster and harder. His eyes dart uncontrollably. “They say it was last night, sometimes after cut-off hour, somebody came to his shop and robed him blind. A piece of paper was found on the floor in his shop, it has ‘gauntlet’ written on it”. He pressed his hands to his face. “Oh god Alen, you think we had something to do with it?”, it was a question even Alen wanted to know. He looked to his friend.
“I don’t know…” that was the best answer Alen could muster. He put his palms together and rubbed his face. The news was shocking as it was devastating. Guilt crept into his heart. The thousand and a hundred and fifty silver inside his sling bag sitting next to his bedside table looks heavy with sin.
“Wait”, Alen’s face lit up. “If the killer had the gauntlet then he’s probably gone by now”, the realization made his eyes widened. Enil looked to him, eyes fearful. “No, the watchers said that there were signs of struggle and destruction in the shop. The killer probably didn’t get what he wanted so he destroyed the things in frustration, I don’t know”, he buried his face in his hands again. Alen could hear him whispering curses to himself.
And he frowned. “Then, who has the gauntlet?”, the question made Enil’s face shot up. “I don’t know man, I couldn’t even think right now”. Alen looked to the window. Something caught his eyes between his bed and his window. His head darted back to the item and it dropped his jaw.
“Oh shit…” he curses, much to Enil’s surprise.
“What?” he looked to his friend’s surprised face and turned around. His jaw dropped and his eyes widened. “Oh shit…”
Enil plucked the gauntlet from the table and shoved it to Alen’s chest. “Where did you get this thing, man?” his face lit up in anger. Alen frowned. “I don’t know, it wasn’t there last night I swear!” his mind raced to what he had done before he sleep but nothing showed that the gauntlet was there then.
Enil paced the room, panicked. “Okay, what do we do now?” his voice desperate. “I don’t know, give that thing to the watchers?” Alen suggested the most obvious. Enil looked at him with a weird look. “Are you insane? They’d charge us for thievery!” he ran his fingers down his unkempt hair scratching his head.
Enil snapped his fingers. “Your godfather, that Uncle Carvas of yours!”, Alen frowned. “What about him?”. Enil rubbed his chin. “We can give it to him and ask him to safekeep it for us”, he gave a weary smile. Alen’s eyes went furious. “And risking his life in the process? No way!” Enil stepped back, knowing the idea would be instantaneously rejected. “Okay okay, different brighter ideas”. Alen sat on his bed. Enil paces around in front of him, both rub their chin.
“I have a better idea but it won’t be good for us”, Alen spoke as Enil poured another mug of warm water. He took a sip from it and looked at Alen. “What is it?”
Alen shot a look at his friend and pulled the gauntlet close between them. “We take the gauntlet with us and run away from the colony. That way the killer will then turn its attention to us and leave the city alone”, it was the most logical and sound idea he had. It was their fault that Akamz was killed and it will be their responsibility to safeguard the safety of the colony.
Enil looked at him. “Too dangerous”, his answer was simple and disappointing.
“What? I thought you’re the one who fantasize about going out into the world!”, Alen’s eyes looked in disbelieve.
Enil turned to him. “Of course I am but not with an assassin on our asses!”, his fingers scratched his head harder, frustrated.
“We can’t just let the assassin roam free in the city while you sit here undecided!”, Alen pressed his friend. Enil closed his eyes and took a deep breath. “Think Enil, think… you are better than this…” he whispers to himself.
His mind ran all the possibilities, checking for any other solution. His face flinched and twitched. He opened his eyes and looked to his friend. “You’re right, that is the best solution for the colony”, he sighed, unable to believe what he had just said.
“But first, I think we should better tell your Uncle Carvas, he should know something about the area around here”, to which Alen nod in agreement.
The two set out of Alen’s apartment and jogged to the street, taking a right into the street that leads to the administration district. All along, a pair of azure eyes watched their every movement from high above the sky.
Alen and Enil shot to the left, away from the archway that leads to the administration district into a dark alley. They stopped halfway through the alley and walked into a barred door, taking the planks blocking the way one at a time before they stepped inside and the planks magically replaced themselves.
“Uncle! Uncle Carvas! It’s me, Alen and my friend Enil!”, Alen shouts inside the dark room. The air was filled with dusts and chairs scattered around it. The candles at the corners of the room lit by itself and from one of the dark doors, Carvas emerged, wearing a full elite suit with the commander’s blade sitting at his hip. He stood upstraight and proud with his back turned to the two teenagers. “What are you doing?”, Alen gave the old man a weird look.
“Stress management”, his uncle answered half joking. Alen rolled his eyes and puts his sling bag down. It clinked as it touches the cold stone floor. Carvas glanced back unbeknownst to the two teenagers.
“So, my young nephew and his best of friend. What do you want with me?”, it was a strange question to ask to the teenagers. Enil looked at Alen who was looking at his uncle who turned around to face the two teenagers.
“Akamz is dead”, Alen started the conversation.
“So I heard”, his uncle answered unflinched by the news. “What does that have to do with me?”, he frowned and leaned forward, face looking directly to the eyes of the two teenagers in front of him.
Alen took out the silver gauntlet from his sling bag. Its silver shone majestically even in the dimness of the room inside the abandoned building. Carvas stared at the gauntlet as if embezzled the shining silver it emits. He smiled.
“Oh, this is interesting”, he nods several time rubbing his chin, contemplating. He stood up, walked to one of his leather coat hanging near his bed and pulled out an ugly looking book with a leather bind.
The old man placed the notebook on a table and quickly, it was swarmed by the two. “I saw this book, it was inside your coat pocket”, Alen recalled the scene in his mind. He quickly blushed and backed his face away into the shadows.
“So you learned to peek?”, The old man’s stern eyes penetrated Alen’s cowering self. An old drawing of the gauntlet appeared in the book when Carvas undid the binding and flipped through the brown pages of the notebook.
“Let’s go and sit over there”, Carvas points to a table and three chairs sitting idly at one corner of the room. Alen and Enil looked at each other and shrugged. “Come on now, you two, or are you going to stand there all day long?”, Carvas was already sitting on the chair. Alen and Enil made their way to the table and sat facing the old man. He opened the book again, pressing on the seams and placed it on the table. Carvas looked at the book and turned his eyes to the gauntlet on his other hand, repeating it several times, watching the intricate design, the dragon etched on the gauntlet, the lines on the gauntlet and just the gauntlet itself.
“Remarkable, where did you find this?”, he held the gauntlet in front of the two teenagers face. They blushed and looked away. Enil tapped his feet and his lips felt dry. Alen gulped and looked at Enil.
“No matter then. Anyway, this is I think, one of the new seals”, the old man paused and puts the gauntlet down on the table.
The two teenagers frowned. “The new seals?”
The old man looked at them with his hand on his chin. “Yes, it’s one of the new seal”
Alen frowned. “The seal for what?”
Carvas held the gauntlet to his face. It throbbed, pulsating weak silver shine.
“The seal for the greatest evil the world has ever known” Carvas whispered the words as he spins the gauntlet slowly in his hands.
“And the seal to the destruction of the world”