Monday, January 20, 2014

Part VI - The Peach and the Crone

The Power Array Saga

Tales of the Sword and the Peach

“I have been waiting for you.” said the old crone, sitting on an overturned, MoonGlow tree log that soaked up the moonlight and reflected it back out with a dull white shine. The hunched old lady had a handful of long white, wispy strands of hair that could be seen snaking from underneath a thin hood covering her face in shadow down to her nose. A dark walking cane lay beside her as she sat with hands outstretched, seeking warmth from a raging fire.
The twin moons of Threa loomed large in the distance, appearing as two halves, lined up in a row with the grey rock Cassini sitting lower in the sky while the brightly shining ice sphere Galilei was arrayed behind it in a perfect shot like the white ball on a pool table. Stars littered the dark background of the heavens, twinkling and sparkling in endless rows like thousands of spectators. On the surface of Threa, the dry dirt spread for kilometers in every direction while a scarce splattering of trees dotted the landscape. The bare terrain was framed by large mountains that sat black and shadowed in the distance, far to the south of the city Duke and Aver and the river Amis. The river Amis was still a few dozen kilometers to the south.
“How did you know we were coming?” asked Zahur wearing a large smile.
Momotaru approached…, wary, eyes surveying the bland landscape while his hand hovered over the hilt of his blade.
“I can see many things through The Lines,” said the old crone with crusted, dry lips and missing teeth. While her hands stayed outstretched towards the fire for warmth, her head turned towards Momoratu with an unnatural quickness. “You can let your guard down here Young Void Warrior, The Sire of Arcadia.”
Momotaru looked at her briefly with hard, untrusting eyes and went back to surveying the surroundings; the flat terrain would give him ample time to see any threat that was foolish enough to try and ambush him. He was still on edge after facing Iris. Not to mention the fact that he was still on edge after killing the elven city guards of Aver. He was afraid that even his father would not be able to weasel himself and his son out of that kind of trouble; despite whatever type of influence he held over city officials in the elven continent.
“You have been searching all your life,” said the old crone. “Stop searching…, relax, wait and what you search for might find you,” she said grabbing his hand with snake-like quickness that belied her old age.
Furrowing his brow, Momotaru clenched his teeth as a cold sensation crept across his palm then spread throughout his body as if it traveled through his veins like an IV.
“The void has shortened one of your lines,” said the old crone. She took Momotaru’s hand and turned it so that she could look at his palm.
“Stop your cryptic babble,” Momotaru said defiantly. He grew irritated by her probing. “Let go of me. What is the meaning of this? Zahur?”
“Her sight is similar to that of your Void, Taru-san,” said Zahur.
“How so?” asked Momotaru. He repeatedly tried to yank his hand away from the firm grip of the old hag. “Can she see the Astral Plane?”
“In a sense…, yes,” responded the old crone. “I can see through the dimensions of time and space when I look at the Life Lines in a person’s palm. I can see their future, their past, everything that I wish and much more.”
            “So what do you see when you look at my palm?” asked Momotaru. He raised a curious eyebrow.
            “Trust me…, you do not want to know,” said the old crone.
            “Anyway,” interrupted Arif Zahur. “On to more pressing matters; we need your help Ba-Ba.”
            “You need to find the Alchemist Guild and finish the enchantment on that sword,” said the old crone. “But little do you know that your quest is much larger than that and an even more powerful weapon awaits for you to claim it, the legendary Tundra Sword.”
            “What are you cryptically hinting at now,” said Momotaru in mocking tones as he rolled his eyes in frustration. “Besides, the Tundra Sword is just a legend from a dusty old book. It’s not real.”
            “What I am hinting at could be the very fate of you and the rest of your line for eternity…, the fate of the very world and the heavens itself,” said the old crone pointing a gnarled finger at Momotaru’s chest. “You have not the slightest clue as to where you come from, truly…, Riestu Master Momotaru Sensei. You have gifts at your disposal that most men would kill for yet you whore around and smoke and let them dwindle away. You, who are unwilling to take up a cause unless there is profit to be gained…, you…, who has a lot to learn…, young Void warrior. If you knew half the things that I knew about your ancestors and your future, the pressure would crush you. If you knew where your decedents take the planet Threa then you would commit suicide.”
            “Well then why don’t you tell me or have me killed,” said Momotaru.
            “As much as I would like to…, I cannot. The human race needs you to fulfill your destiny. Your mission must be completed for all of our sakes and this information would only provide you with an unneeded burden,” said the hunched back, gray haired crone.
            “Look old lady,” said Momotaru. “Just tell us where we can find the Alchemist Guild so I can be rid of you and this worthless mage.”
            The crone laughed; cackling howls with mouth wide showing missing teeth. “You will not be rid of Arif so easily young Void warrior. You two will be forever linked in more ways than you could imagine…, sooner than you know. This little mage is hiding a great secret from you warrior. When the time is right, you…, Momotaru will understand that you and the young mage, together, will usher in a new age and determine the Fate of the Heaven’s and bring about the Legacy of Winter which is spoken of in the ancient prophecies from the Tales of Arcadia. That dusty old book, as you like to call it, can answer all of the questions you have.”

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