Unknown - Chapter 23

      Chapter 23

      “Lord Varoum, the seal bearer had just left the port town of Lhamira” announced a bloodhound to the little turtle pacing in front of the stone tables inside the huge room. The door closed behind the bloodhound as he leaves and silence crept into the room once more.

      He rubbed his scaly chin. “Why Kevil, why Kevil…” he murmured alone in the gray gloomy room.

      “Vahula!” he shouts and the bloodhound bursts through the door. “Yes, my Lord?” his mouth touched the dusty floor.

      “Tell the spies to watch who was with the seal bearer, now!” he shouts and the bloodhound slid his still bowing head across the room. “Yes, my Lord!” he replied and the door shuts in front of him.

      “Don’t tell me it’s a Guardian… or was it the second seal?” the little turtle murmured again.

      The door bursts open again and a dire wolf walks in. “Sire, the Emperium has begun their expansion campaign to the north. The spies had reported a massive army being gathered at the edge of the port town of Qitar at the northeastern edge of Kevil. Also there are reports saying that a battalion of the Jiguvar had marched south, burning the towns especially smith towns as the past along” he said with his head bowed down.

      “I see” replied Varoum. “How did they managed to cross the sea bringing massive armies with them?” the turtle asked.

      “They had managed to create a ship that can carry the massive amount of loads using something they called water crystals, sire” said the dire wolf.

      “And what is this Jiguvar? Why are they attacking their own towns?” asked Varoum.

      The dire wolf shook its head. “We do not know sire. Our last spy sent to the King’s chamber was apparently killed by a slingshot from the King’s barbaric son” he said. Varoum shook his head in dismay. “Sent another spy and make sure they know where to hide themselves!” he shouts to the dire wolf. The wolf cowered and gave a slow nod and left the room.

      “Damn it! I’m surrounded by fools!” he shouts and slammed his little hands onto the stone table in front of him. The sound echoed in the empty room. He pants for air and his dark hands felt warm.

      “General Virin” a huge man-bear approached the Spider-Witch.

      “General Bara” the Spider-Witch gave Bara a low bow with her head. “It has been a long time” said the spider and smiled maliciously at the man-bear. “Yes, it has” the bear replied with tiny flames shooting out of his eyes. “I have heard of your recent activites” the spider hissed and past the man-bear without glancing. The man-bear grits his teeth only to change it into a grin as the spider was about to fleet away.

      “Your father is amongst the seal bearer”

      The Spider-Witch stopped on her tracks. “Is that so?” she asked without turning. Her body glowed pale blue in the cover of darkness. Bara’s breath turned powdery white and the flame shooting outside his eyes began to frost. The man-bear’s hands and feet trembled as icicles and frost spreads out from the jutting rock over the ceilings and the support beams.

      The Spider-Witch turned her head. All her eight eyes burned with fiery flame of pale blue. She held a wicked smile that held a thousand years of misery and agony. “That is certainly good news to me” she said and left the tunnel.

      Bara shook his head and the frost encapsulating it thawed into pale blue mists. The icicles and frost around the tunnel disappeared, leaving the tunnel colored with pale blue fog. The man-bear growled low and clenched his fists.

      The bloodhound bursts the door open panting for air and bowed its head at the Varoum’s feet. “My Lord” he said. Varoum looked at him. “What of the report?” he asked and the bloodhound nods. “Yes my Lord, the spies had confirmed that there are three Guardians accompanying the seal bearer together with his friend, a girl and a huge man of great sword mastery” said the bloodhound. “And the three Guardians are?” the turtle cocked his brows. “They are the Fire, Wind and the Earth Guardians, my lord” said the bloodhound face watching the dusty floor. Varoum paced the room, walking back and forth between the two stone tables, eyes looking at the sole light shining inside the pale room. “I see” he said under his breath. “You can go now” he dismissed the bloodhound who exits the room with great haste. The door closed behind him and Varoum was once again left alone.

      “So they are looking for the final Guardian, this is certainly a good news” he smiled. “They will lead me to the port town of Kliph and the old sage. After that, the seals will reveal themselves to the boy. So all I need to make sure of is to have the boy followed all the time and strike before he could manage to re-seal everything back” he smiled at the thought. “Then the Source will return” he held himself from laughing. “And then I can have the whole world to myself” he beamed. The door behind him opened and an echo of taps and thuds followed. The room was empty again.

      Bara stood at the mountain outcrop overlooking the huge city of white stone standing miles beneath him. The wind caught his face and tried to push him off the cliff. Bara clenched his fist and roared at the wind. Gray smokes hissed from his mouth and rode the wind past him. The azure flame in his eyes flickered and his chest rise and fall with his hastening heartbeat. The man-bear general spread his black wings and reached for the sky.

      Virin caught the black shadow crossing the sky above her as she stood watch from the side of the mountain overlooking the sea to the west. The pale blue flame from her eyes had died, leaving only the azure flame caged inside. She looked at her dark hands, the claws cuts through the wind passing her. The cool breeze touched her like a warm blanket, enveloping her senses, robbing her ears of hearing. It was absent yet it was there like a splinter inside her heart. She clicked her tongue. The image of her father flashed through her azure eyes. Gentle and kind and loving like any other parents.

      A weird sensation flooded her already numbed senses. Her cheeks felt warm. She clicked her tongue and left the outcrop.

      Varoum stepped inside the laboratory filled with bleeping monitors and mechanical gears and pipes, turning and hissing. Smokes billowed from everywhere as if produced by the mountain walls itself. His tap and thud footfalls turned the attention of the workers inside the laboratory. They stopped and bowed at the little turtle as he walks to the center of the room where a large green tank sits.

      Bregan stood and bowed at Varoum. He wore a monocle and his feature was more lively than it was when he had freed Virin. His hands carried a clipboard with papers depicting charts, graphs and pictures of the specimen inside the green tank.

      “Bregan” said Varoum. “How long will it take before the specimen is war ready?” he asked. The wolf bowed. “It will take a little bit more time than we first calculated, my lord” he said. “Though his power output is currently sixteen percent above our first estimation” he continued, head still bowed. “Good, good” the turtle replied while holding his chin. “Give me the ladder” he commanded and two of the workers rushed to push a small metal ladder to the green tank. Bregan watch as Varoum pushed himself up, leaving his staff behind next to the metal ladder. More steam hissed behind him but he ignored, his eyes fixed to the little turtle as he reached the topmost steps and wiped the frosted tank window. The turtle peeked inside the translucent fluid.

      “I see” he murmured to himself. “Was there any signs of movements from the specimen at all?” he shouts to Bregan. “No, my lord, not yet. Although the specimen’s vital signs are normal and improving with every increment we did” the wolf replied. Varoum nods. “Good!” he said and lowered himself down the ladder effortlessly. He picked his staff and walked towards the wolf. “I want the specimen closely monitored at all times, it was hard enough to get one and I don’t think I can spare another” he said and shot a glance at the tank. “This is my baby, Bregan, I will not let it falter. I will not have this project fail”.

      The wolf bowed again. “Yes, my lord, I will make sure of it”. He smiled when Varoum turned his back on him. “If I may ask, my lord?” said the wolf. “What is it?” said Varoum without turning.

      “Why are we doing this?”

      Varoum snorted. “Because of time, and power, my friend” he said.

      Bregan frowned. “But does we not have all but one of the thirteen generals with us in suspended animation, my lord? Why such hassle to create a new breed?” he asked to which Varoum only laughed at him.

      “Yes, Bregan, we do have the generals, but I fear that their power might have been weakened due to the nature of their existence. So it is with great need that we sow a new breed of generals with new power to match the needs of time” the little turtle explained. “You may not understand my intention, my friend, but soon you will see why we need this new breed of Unknowns” he said. Bregan nods slow. “Then what about the other two generals, my lord?” he asked.

      “I’ll deal with them” said Varoum and the room echoed with the sound of tap and thud. The metal door that leads to the laboratory hissed open. Bregan watched as Varoum’s shadows left the laboratory and the metal door closed with a thump behind him before letting his face decorated with his sly smile. “And I’ll deal with you, my friend”

Inside the tank, the specimen’s hands twitched.