Balon Stone led the two hed to the Earth City, his home. They walked for a while until they came across burnt posters on trees. Balon went and took a closer look at them, a few of them were not completely burnt, he could still see the information written on them.
”Altar Cleos and Diego Reed huh ” Balon said.
”I dont remember telling you our names ” Altar said.
Balon held the posters up. ”Yeah i know but this looks very much like you two. ”
Altar and Diego paused. ”Shit ” said Altar
e fugitives of Dorne ” Balon said.
”Its much more complicated as you think ” Diego assured.
”Then uncomplicate it
” Balon said stopping,
”because apparently you
e criminals ”
”We are not criminals! ” Diego snapped, coiling her fist in anger.
Balon looked at Diegos face and scanned her carefully. He looked at her carefully in the eyes and said, ”Well this should be interesting…. ”
”What are you talking about? ” Altar said.
”So the Dornish are pursuing you is that it? ”
Balon was trying to puzzle the pieces together. He already had an assumption but he needed confirmation.
”Yes ” Diego admitted, ”The story is really more complicated than that ”
”I bet it is ” Balon said, he remembered seeing a bright light last night at the villages near the Dornish kingdom. Was it her? He thought.
”Those are rare eyes you have there ” Balon said to her, ”Beautiful, rare…..and dangerous ”
Balon immediately knew what Diego was.
Altar looked at him then back at Diego who said nothing. He unsheathed his sword then stood infront of her to protect her from Balon.
”I think you know a little bit too much about her. Whats your angle? ”
”Woaw woaw relax ” Balon said , ” Im not a threat i can assure you. I just want to know the kind of people im taking to my home. ”
”Aren you gonna take us in to Dorian? ” Altar lowered his sword.
”No ” he replied, ”all im trying to say is that i think i understand you guys situation. ”
”Huh? ” Diego said. Balon replied, ”From what i can gather…King Dorian is after Diego because….shes one of the gifted, and you just got entangled here somewhere ”
”Don call me a gifted. This isnt a gift ” Diego replied.
”Youd rather prefer the word Pnevma? ” Balon asked her.
Diego said nothing.
”Look im sorry if Im making you feel uncomfortable, i just know things. But what i didnt know is that Dorne had a Pnevma living in its residence ” Balon admitted.
”Altar Cleos rescued me from the Dornish ” Diego said to him, ”we escaped and ended up here. All we want is refuge so we can get out of Dorne. ”
”Yeah we not looking for any trouble ” Altar added.
”Fine ” Balon said, ” Ill help you. I got a place for where you can lie low for a while ”
”Okay ” Diego said, ”Thank you ”
I thought these fools knew about the dangers in No Mans Land Daerason was gritting his teeth.
Half his men were slaughtered by the minotaurs.
He was riding his horse through the forest bloody, with the few men he had to spare. When they left the kingdom the prince had ten men with himself included, all of them with a horse. Hed lost seven men and eight horses. His grey Dornish armour was stained with blood, so was his gold longsword.
Sir.Ruth Steel and the prince were mounted while Sir.Raymond Alex and Sir. Cole Mantern trailed behind them on foot.
”They must be hiding in the Earth Tribe ” Cole commented.
”Thats what Chris Luetto said about No Mans Land before they split his head like a pumpkin ” Daerason said.
”Just hope we dont walk into them beasts again ” Ruth said, ”we were lucky we made it out ”
”How far from the Earth City? ” The prince asked.
Raymond pulled out his map and said ”Not far now. Just ahead ”
Theyd been moving east from No Mans Land for a while now. They found burnt posters on the trees, some trees were burnt whole.
So they are at the Earth Tribe for sure thought the prince. He knew that this was the work of Altar Cleos.
They finally reached the gateway of the Earth City.
It had a giant wall all around the city, much like the wall around the Dornish kingdom that Diego desalinated that night. The prince unmounted from his horse and approached the gate that was already opened, there awaited two Earth City guards.
They bowed when they saw him, ”Prince Daerason. ” one of them said, ” Welcome to the City of Earth. ”
Daerason said nothing, he gave the two Earth Tribers their horses then went in the city followed by his men.
The Dornish were always welcomed in the city of the Earth Tribe, it was built in the lands of Dorne afterall. The Land Of Winter was a different story. Apparently that was a no-go zone for them.
Over three hundred years ago, king Randyll Frost, king of the Land Of Winter and king Robert Sande king of Dorne were at war with eachother to claim the whole land which is now divided by a giant wall of ice and rocks. Their war was the greatest because noone had won that war. Instead of a peace treaty they divided their lands with the giant wall created by King Randyll and the lord of the Earth Tribe Coza Hyde.
The walls were called the Boarders and had stood there ever since.
One of the Earth Warriors went to him. Daerason told him , ”Im not here sight seeing. Take me to your Leader, Rickard Hyde ”
”At once ” the Warrior said leading them. The Earth City warriors were all broad in chest and had thick musular arms. They wore green armour different from the Dornish knight gear. It was mosly leather instead of metal. The city was as peaceful as its reputation. All Daerason could see were happy children running around playing with wooden swords. He saw men skinning a bull that looked like a minotaur, laughing and drinking beer.
Such foul creatures thought Daerason.
”Come ” their escort said, ”Up there. ”
They found a tall palace with long stairs that lead straight to it. ”The entrance door is up there ” he pointed
Here we go, Daerason thought as he lead the men up the endless stairs
King Dorian was still in his chambers, he had recovered quickly. He chose to stay there to cloud himself with thoughts. He couldn get over the fact that the Pnevma had really escaped his custody after so many months of preparation. The thought of it made him very angry, then this thoughts lead him to that boy Altar Cleos.
Dorian felt mocked.
His mood wasnt bright at all ever since that night. His defenses were enough to defend against an army but failed against a little boy.
Unforgivable! Dorian thought. He remembered his late Queen Isabellas smile and their times together when Daerason was just a baby in her arms.
”Just imagine it Dorian ” Isabella told him, ”attaining a power that can bring this world to its knees! ”
”Is there even such a thing? ” Dorian was skeptical.
”Ofcourse there is ” Isabella got closer to her husband to kiss him, ”I should educate you on a little history lesson. ”
e mad with power my sweet ” Dorian said to her softly locking his lips with hers. Isabella pulled back, ”Its better being mad with than without power. No one takes you seriously ”
”You want to be taken seriously? ”
”I want to rule ” Isabella said with a sinister grin. Isabella was as beautiful as she was dark and Dorian loved her dearly for that. Isabella knew that, she always did.
Even at her last days. Dorian remembered fragments of her face, pretty with makeup and her grin. He blinked and found himself in a dark room damp with blood holding the corpse of his late queen. ”For fill my dream for me ” she told him, ”rule this world! ”
Isabella layed lifeless in his arms with blood running down her mouth and nose. She looked behind him where he found King Zikhali laughing with his wife and daughter, then he roared in anger holding is wifes corpse.
Dorian had sent his son and a nine men to search for the girl. Dorian that day decided to get off the bed and not wallow in self pity. He was a king, he had duties to do. Like rebuilding his destroyed palace.
Dorian was in his throne room with the few available council members: his Right Hand man Allister Morris, Lady Lane and Karl Smit. Karl was second in command of the Dornish men after Theo Galliard was killed in the tournament. He was the obvious choice because of his skill, leadership and decision making skills. The rest of the council members were absent, working on rebuilding.
”A bird came from our Prince ” Allister announced, ”Apparently he is in the Earth City, certain that the girl and that boy are there ”
Karl just looked down. Allister continued, ”Before that hed lost almost all his men near No Mans Land. ”
The king slapped his forehead and shook his head. ”Those minotaurs ” Lane said with disgust.
”What was the lad doing there. Im sure ive told him about that place and its residents ” Dorian said.
”Well theyll be in good hands in
the Earth City
” Karl said,
” but what do you suppose they
e doing in the Earth City? The fugetives ”
”Refuge? ” Allister said, ”devising a plan to leave Dorne….what other reason could there be? ”
”The only way to do that is by ship ” Lane said, ”or the worst case scenario they go to the Winter Land beyond the wall ”
”Impossible! ” Dorian snapped, ”How would they even cross the wall? ”
”My king there are many ways to get through to the other side of that wall ” Lane assured.
Lady Lane had a point Dorian admitted to in silence. If the Pnevma crossed the wall somehow it would be impossible to hunt them down. Beyond the wall only layed enemies of the Dornish: the Frost family and their Huntmen.
”That wall is like 600 hundred feet up and fiifty yards thick. ” Karl said, ”i dont see any way of smashing through that much ice and stones. Altar Cleos is indeed a formidable opponent i agree but he isnt powerful enough to cut through that much ”
”Yes but he wont need to if they get a ship or a boat to sail ” Lane said.
”The Earth City wont aid fugitives of Dorne ” Dorian said, ”Rickard Hyde should know that. ”
After the longs stairs they went in the palace where they were escorted by another Earth Tribe warrior in green armour. Rickard Hyde emerged in the dining room where he met his Dornish guests. ”Well this is a surprise… ” he said.
Lord Rickard Hyde was short, bald and chubby with a deceiving smile. He had a darker skin complexion and wore alot of gold jewellery.
”The Dornish didnt send word that they were going to be dining with me today ” said the lord.
”Im not here to stay ” Daerason said, ”and Im definitely not here to dine with you ”
Rickard Hyde laughed, ”Well some things never change right? And your father? ”
”He was the one who sent me here ”
”Oh so he wont be coming huh… ” Rickard said, ”State your business then prince of Dorne. ”
The Lord of the Earth City poured himself some wine then offered the men. Well it was a long way here he thought, a glass of wine wouldnt hurt.
The prince took the glass and enjoyed it. Daerason held out his palm at Sir. Ruth then then he gave him posters of Diego and Altar. Daerason gave it to Rickard and said, ”We believe that these two fugetives have infiltrated the Earth City ”
”Infiltrated? ” Rickard said, ”thats alittle extreme dont you think. Did you see them enter my land? ”
”No but their trails led us here ” said the prince.
”They led you to No Mans Land aswell right ” the lord laughed.
”Are you mocking me? ” Daerason said.
”No i am marely stating the obvious. Either that or these fugitives of yours gave you a beatdown ” he studied their pictures.
He looked at Altars face and commented, ”Purple hair and violet eyes….is this a Lightning user? ”
”Lightning? ” Daerason echoed then he thought, ut the boy displayed Fire nature. Or does he have lightning nature aswell?
”And this girl….Diego…. ” said Rickard Hyde, ”well she has a cute face ill give her that. Which makes me wonder why my friend Dorian is after them ”
”They destroyed half the kingdom of Dorne ” said the prince, ”and the king is not your friend ”
”Indeed he isnt ” Hyde joked, ”Which makes me wonder about the kind of strength they possess to destroy half Dorians kingdom. ” He shook his head.
Rickard Hyde was a wise man, even Daerason knew that as much as he didnt like him. Daerason despised the lord of the Earth City because of his untrustworthy aura that he gave off.
Rickard always looked as if he knew something about everyone and everything, another reason why Daerason didn like him so much, but Rickard didn really care.
”I dont mind you guys playing cat and mouse in my city but as long as you dont destroy anything. ” He eyed Diegos poster, ”i hope youll be careful with this one. ”
Daerason said, ”Ill be polite ”
The day was hot and peaceful than the past few days. Balon Stone had welcomed them into his home. Its been two days with no trouble and for two whole days there was no sign of Dornish drama. He believed that King Dusche had given up on them. Either that or Diegos power scared him off.
That day they layed low in Balons house, it was big and beautiful but he lived alone. Altar was sure that there was a woman hiding in one of Balons rooms. Balon would leave them at his house for the whole day while he performed his duties and the captain of the Earth warriors, then hed come home at night with stories to share.
Diego had gotten rid of the gown and and torn things she wore and dressed up like an Earth Triber with all the green colours. She blended in. Altar tried to look like he belonged aswell.
”Try not to draw in too much attention ” Balon would tell them before hed leave for work.
Balon Stone took a day off from work and decided to show them around the city or Earth for once. Altar decided to leave his two twin swords in Balons home. He didnt feel like he needed them because of where they were.
Balon led them out of the house and they took to the busy streets.
Dragon Isle was also this busy thought the boy with a smile on his face.
They passed through shops and stands selling fruit, vegetables and other things. Balon stocked up some veggies for the night, Diego had promised to cook something for them.
”I need to stretch my hands ” she had told him.
Balon bought them apples aswell so that they could eat something on the way ”Does this city have any fighting pits? ” Altar asked him.
”We dont have illegal fighting pits if thats what you mean ” Balon assured, ”My uncle only hosts those on special occasions or when he feels that the people need entertainment. ”
”Your uncle is the lord of this place right? ” Diego said.
Balon nodded and said ” Yes, its Lord Rickard Hyde….from my mothers side. ”
”Im part of the people now….we need this ” Altar said. ”Where im from theres an underground fighting pit where we fight for money. Its just a quick way to get something in your pocket ”
”Yes and bruises on your face ” Diego said.
She was against all the fighting, unlike he companion she had a peaceful nature. Youd never think that she has a demon inside her.
Walking through the city of Earth made Altar reminisce back in Dragon Isle, when he was running around with Karl Smidt, Montero Maleek and Princess Kyley causing trouble. Theyd go to City Centre at the underground fighting pits and bet on Altar and Karl to fight and win them money. Altar and Karl were the skilled ones amoungst their little gang, Kyley was mostly just aggressive and Montero was the brains.
But those times were gone now and life had moved on placing them in different locations and unexpected situations. Altar who was far from home had now a bounty on his head, dead or alive and was lived life on the run; Karl was a knight or Dorne, probably assigned to kill him on sight; Kyley was still in Dragon Isle Isle being a princess and then there was the memory of Montero. He was probably dead a long time ago.
”Weapons shop then atleast ” Altar said.
”I can take you to one ” Balon Stone said. ”Follow me ”
Balon took Altar to an armory shop and thats where his eyes glittered in amazement. They found a weapons smith there working on a sword. He was still beating the melted iron into shape with his five pound hammer. Opposite the armory shop was another vegetable stand, Diego went there instead followed by Balon.
Altar paid them no mind, he walked in the smiths shop and gazed at the weapons fascinated. The smith noticed him and greeted. ” You seem to have an eye for weapons young lad ”
”I very much do ” Altar said, ”this all your work? ”
”Indeed it is ” the Smith said. He took a dagger from the wall, played with it and stabbed it on the wooden table he worked on. Altar took the dagger and studied its make. He was amazed at its beauty.
The smith took Altar deeper into his shop where he showed him the three sections of his work shop that consisted in crafted weapons and metal gladior gear like breastplates and helms.
Altar scanned everything then caught a glimpse of men in Dornish armour passing through.
”Really? ” Altar hissed. ”Like really really? ” He knew he couldn stay any longer than he should.
”Whats wrong? ” The smith said.
”Nothing i just realised that i have to go ” Altar said.
He quickly went out of the shop but bumped into something….someone.
”Oh sorry i… ” Altar said but when he looked who it was it was the prince of Dorne himself. Prince Daerason stood before him.
”Well well well…. ” Daerason said to him. Altar gasped and took a few steps backward bumping into two more knights of Dorne all in grey armour.
”Oh great….here i was minding my business not looking for trouble ” Altar said
”Yes but as always….trouble seems to find you doesnt it? ” Daerason replied.