Unknown - Chapter 21
“So you are master Sazara, the Wind Guardian?” Alen looks at the man in the green robe. Sazara sat cross legs facing the young seal bearer and nod. “You said you have been spying on us from the very beginning, so why not help us back then when the creature attacked us in Naresh?”
Sazara looked at the other two Guardians. “Because it was not yet my obligation” he cross his hands and puts them on top of his legs.
“Not yet your obligation? Does that include not saving others life when it’s needed?” Enil shot forward, his voice almost shouting.
“To be honest, yes. I rarely help anyone else except myself or anyone I deem I want to help” he said simple which made Enil stood up and left the hold, banging the door behind him. Eliza looked at the angry young man and heads off to find him much to Kalvel’s surprise.
“Now then, back to business” said Sazara. He shot a look at Shamah who cleared his throat.
“We are heading west towards the Emperium of Kevil” said Shamah. Everyone’s eyes fell to him. “It will probably take us three days now before we reach the port town. From there we will take a caravan and follow the old route towards the smith city of Kaleema” Shamah rolled out a map at the center of the circle and points towards the port town before running his fingers down and winding trail towards a dot written ‘Kaleema’.
“Why take the old route? Why not take the new route, it’s shorter.” Kalvel ran his finger down a straighter line towards the same dot.
“Because of the Emperium checkpoints” Sazara interrupted. “I’ve seen it when I was above the clouds. The Empirium is planning some kind of a campaign to expand its territory to the northern continent, the Uncharted North” He placed his finger on a huge continent at the top of the map. “So they are extorting everything they can from travelers coming towards the capital city to trade”
Shamah tapped his finger on Kaleema. “The smith city will be terribly busy with making armors and weapons for the Empirium campaign, so this will probably be the best time to sneak in and pose as a smith ourselves”
“Why can’t we just knock on the door and say hi?” said Alen.
“Because the guards won’t let anyone except smithies and their assistants inside the city” Shamah paused. “And with the campaign going on, the guards in the city have probably doubled the usual number”
Shamah frowned. “But how did the Emperium gained the ability to carry its military might across the ocean?” he rubbed his chin and looked at Sazara.
“It was Grear, when she was the Emperium’s Navy Commander. Her research on water crystals had given the Emperium the blueprint for warships than can travel farther while carrying a heavy load inside its belly” said Sazara. “The news that the Empirium would use her research as tools for the military grieved her and made her rebel. She was exiled a few months after her rebellion”
“She must have intended the research to help the merchants coming into the capital not the military out from it” said Shamah. “Stupid girl” he growled.
“It was not her fault entirely, she tried to wrestle it out of the Emperium’s hands and lost. She tried” said Sazara.
“She shouldn’t have started the research in the first place. Everything in this world will end up being used in the military, it’s useless coming up with good intentions when no one cares about it” grumbled Shamah. “Good intention just aren’t good enough”
“What about the old route, Master Sazara, is there any checkpoint along the route?” Edabu looked at the man in the green sitting next to him.
“According to the winds, the last time I read them there is none along the old route”
“Wait” Alen interrupted. The three Guardians and Kalvel turned their heads to the young man. “Why do we have to look for the Guardians and not straight away head for Kliph?” he said.
Sazara turned towards Edabu. “You did not tell him, young Edabu?”. Edabu looked down. “I thought it was not the time yet”
“You stupid prick” scolded Shamah.
“And why are you calling Edabu, young?” Alen interrupted again.
Sazara turned his head back towards Alen and sighed. “Well, for your first question, young Alen, in order to reach and enter the waters around Kliph, you need the power of the four Guardian, namely, Wind that is me, Fire that is young Edabu here, Earth that is master Shamah and Water that is young Grear” he turned to master Shamah. “The other reason is because we were the ones who made it that way” he took a breath. “And for your second question, it’s because he is the youngest out of the four of us”.
“Satisfied yet, kid? Or do you have any other questions?”
Alen was quick to answer. “Yes, in fact I do” he took out the leather book he had kept from Carvas and placed his arm wearing the silver gauntlet to the floor at the center of the circle. “What is this book and why does these Unknowns want them and what are they?”
“Looks like you’re filled with them” Sazara joked. “I guess it’s time we tell him, although I’d rather wait for young Grear to be here with us before doing that, but who cares”. He paused and took a deep breath. “Here goes. That book is known as the Journal of the Elders, they are what you call the writing of the Elders a thousand years ago when they battled the Source. In it lies their findings and the most important of thing of all, the magic that sense the newest seal each time they emerge”
“You mean this book can tell you what and where the new seal is?” said Alen.
“Yes and no. Yes, it can tell you what it is, but no, it won’t tell you where it is, exactly” he looked at the book and the gauntlet. “It will give out hints of the seal’s location and it is up to anyone who holds the book to try and decipher them. Think of it as a safety magic in case there are those who might try to gather all the seals together and release the Source into the world”
“Who or what is this Source?” said Alen.
“One question at a time, please” said Sazara. “Now, these Unknowns want the seal for that very same reason, they want to release the Source back into the world and usurp the power of the King”
“But why the King?” Enil sat behind the circle with Eliza following behind him and sat near her father.
“Young Enil, it’s nice of you to join us” Sazara greets him. Enil glared but said nothing.
“Now, back to Alen’s question. I presume you have already known that the Law of Roles puts the King as the highest Role. But what you did not know is that with the role comes one magic that the others will never have”. Sazara looked at Enil. “The moment someone was granted the title of King as his role, he will also be granted the magic of persuasion”
The others looked at Sazara with indifferent looks. The green glow underneath the hood turned into a slit. “The magic of persuasion is the most powerful magic a man can have. Imagine having the power to control thousands of powerful magistus with just the power of your words, or control thousands of armies to march and sacrifice their life at your whim” the man paused. “But that is not why the magic is considered as the most powerful magic a man can have. The reason why it is considered as such is because its power extends to the King’s enemies. Think of it like this, once you are crowned the King, the world will literally be yours”
The others save Enil, gulped and beads of clear liquid crystals trickle down their foreheads. Sazara cupped his hands into a ball and let out a cool light air of spring that touched the cheeks and lips of the room’s occupants with kindness and gentleness into the hold, turning the temperature down.
“But what about the Source? What or who is this Source?” said Alen.
Sazara let his hands sits on his lap. “The Source was once a who, but now it is better to call the Source a what” he said and turned to master Shamah.
The old man sighed. “I never like giving history lesson so I’m going to give it short” he said. “The Source was once a young man, a magistus of great intellect much loved and highly respected by his peers. He fits his Role like a perfectly made robe and he rose fast into the rank of Lord Magistus”
Shamah looked to the floor. “But in his thirtieth year as Lord Magistus, something changed. I don’t know whether it was the power or the knowledge that corrupted him but he became savage and began to seek deep into the unknown realm of magic, the Dark arts. At that time it was against the Law to dwell farther than one’s own Role and any action that provoked the Law can be likened to going rogue and turning your own back on your own Role” the old man took a breath and relaxed himself. “To make it short, the King exiled the young man and in revenge, he burned the capital city down with the power of his Dark arts before disappearing”. The room was silence.
“And then, a hundred years after his disappearance and approximately a thousand years ago, comes the great war that changed the Law of Roles and created the Law of Outer Realm. It was known as the War of the Thousand Minds which resulted in the Source sealed by the only person defined as an Elder ever since the arrival of Palasis the Peacekeeper two centuries earlier” Shamah’s eyes turned sad. “Well, the rest you pricks already know, so there”
“Thank you master Shamah. Though to add just a little bit of detail, the war took a nasty turn and we, the four Guardians had to make a hard choice in order to protect the sage of Kliph from being killed, hence the reason we closed the port town inside a Time Veil, but that will be a story for some other time” Sazara points to the darkened window at the back of the room. “Let us rest, the journey will be long and treacherous, best to keep your strength, a pirate made of rogue warriors can never compare to those made of rogue magistus” and Sazara left the circle, heading out to the deck. Edabu stood next and left for the sleep quarters while Kalvel and Eliza both went to the kitchen. Shamah stood and head followed Sazara out, leaving Alen and Enil still sitting cross legs, lines between their eyes.
“Do you believe that story?” said the blonde young man.
“I don’t know…” his friend replied.
And the night in the ship fell into dark silence.