Enchanted Crowns

“And how are you supposed to help us fight a den of trappers?” Zakhira asked. Drayk ran his hands through his beard and Zakhira took this silence as his answer. “I thought so, I think you have wasted our time.” She turned to Shiv. “We have to hurry.”

“What’s the hurry?” Drayk asked still stroking his beard.

“Every second that passes is one less for our companion.”

“So, you are only here to save your companion nothing else?”

“No, why?”

“No reason.” Drayk smiled.  “Come over here.” Drayk walked over to a large chest at the corner of his house. “Do you know how my legion became the most feared legion in the war?”

Zakhira shrugged. “Because you were a united legion of gods?”

“Good observation, but no.” He flipped the lid open and pulled out two concentric circles wrapped by a red cloth. “It was because of our armor.”

“Your armor?”

“Do you know my true power?”

“You control the dragon spirits, you have the power of all elements.”

“Partly true, I can also imbibe my powers on weapons and armor.”

“Just like Gemma?”

“In a way, but I don’t need to cry out random gemstones, I can enchant anything with whatever I want.” Drayk unfurled the red cloth and revealed two silver crowns. “Here try this.”

Zakhira picked up a crown and wore it on her head. “I don’t feel anything different.” She looked over at Shiv and he was examining his crown, looking for gemstones. “He already said there are no gemstones on these, what are you looking for?”

Shiv shrugged. “There must be some sort of inscription right? Just like Esen’s bracelets?”

“You have a point.”

“You don’t believe me?” Drayk pulled out a long horn from the chest. “Let me ask you something, why would it be difficult for you to fight a trapper? let alone a den of trappers.”

Shiv recalled his encounter with the trapper that abducted Anastasia. “I remember I couldn’t move.”

“The petrifying scream.” Drayk blew on the horn. A high pitched sound filled the house and the furnishings vibrated. Glasses, plates and other items cracked while others shattered.

“What was that sound?” Zakhira asked looking around at the mess. “Is that one of your enchanted weapons?”

Drayk smiled. “Look at your companion.”

Zakhira turned to Shiv and noticed that he was frozen like a statue. “Shiv? Shiv?”  Zakhira reached for Drayk’s robe. “What did you do to him?”

Drayk chuckled. “Now do you believe me?”

“Believe you?”

“The crown works doesn’t it?”

“Huh?” Zakhira caught herself moving about while Shiv was stuck in a frozen state. “How do I get him back?”

“Just put his crown on and it will block out the petrifying scream.”

Zakhira took the silver crown from Shiv’s hands and placed it on his head. In a moment his fingers flexed and he took a deep breath lunging forward and falling onto a table with some clay pitchers and jars on it.

“Ow!” Shiv screamed moving his arms in a defensive position, protecting his face. “What happened?” He said picking himself up.

Drayk turned to Zakhira. “I am only loaning these crowns to you, as you can see the power that our weapons and armor possess, they cannot leave the sanctity of this village, otherwise a new war would start up.”

Zakhira frowned sitting on the bed next to Drayk. “There is a new war bubbling under the surface.”

“Ahhh, so the prophecy is true then?”

“What prophecy?” Zakhira asked.

Drayk glanced at Shiv as he tried to fix the table back on its legs and picked up the fragments of broken clay.

“He reminds you of him doesn’t he? Minus the power of course.”

Zakhira nodded her head at Drayk’s reference to Ryuu.

“He was a powerful warrior, probably the only reason why we didn’t overwhelm the half-bloods early on in the war.” Drayk gripped on his staff and looked up at the ceiling. “But there is something odd about him isn’t it?”

“Odd?” Zakhira asked.

“Just look at him.”

“I am.”

“No, look past his human flesh. Look closer, he seems to have no power but there is a spirit of change.”

“Change?”

“Tell me, why is he here?”

“I can’t tell you that.”

“It’s because of Esen isn’t it?”

“Esen?”

Drayk pointed at the bracelets on their wrists. “It’s obvious that Esen is behind all of this, she is the only one capable of restarting the war.”

“Yes, yes it is.”

“I think you are on the way to the seer are you not?”

“How do you know all of this?”

“It’s obvious isn’t it my dear?” He turned to Shiv once more and then chuckled. “If the prophecy is indeed true, that a person who resembles the hero of the half-bloods with a spirit like no other would appear, then you would want to visit the seer to uncover his ability.”

“What is his ability?”

“If I told you will you still visit the seer?”

“Yes.”

“Because you have a different mission don’t you, it’s not to uncover his talent but something else?”

“I’m just here to accompany him, the mission is all his.”

“Ahhh, but your father, the great Shesha has his own mission for you doesn’t he?”

“Yes.”

“And you have doubts?”

“Yes.”

Drayk smiled. “It’s a foolish man’s destiny to think, but it’s a heroes destiny to act.”

“What do you mean?”

“Your time is running out.” Drayk raised his hand opening the flaps of his house. “Your companion and one of my villagers are about to be dinner.”

“Wait, you have to tell me how you know all of these?”

“Come back alive and I’ll tell you.”

“Shiv, stop playing with that table.”

Shiv placed the last fragment of broken clay on the table. “Sorry Drayk.”

“Don’t worry about it.” Drayk waved his hand over the the broken pieces and they moved slowly together merging back together into their original forms of clay jars and pitchers like they had never been destroyed.

“How did you do that?”

“They are made of earth, earth is one of the elements that I control. It’s nothing that I can’t do or nothing that you can’t do for that matter.”

“I can’t control earth, I don’t have that kind of ability.”

“Come on Shiv.” Zakhira tugged on Shiv’s arm. “We have to go.”

“Wait! How did he do that? What did he mean that I have the same kind of ability?”

“Leave it alone!”

“No wait!” Shiv pulled his arm from Zakhira’s grip. “He has some answers, he knows something, didn’t you say that we have to find out what they know?”

“Have you forgotten about Anastasia?”

The image of Anastasia’s petrified body being carried away by the huge trapper returned to him. “No, I haven’t, it’s just that.” He looked at Drayk. “I need answers.”

“We will be back, but right now Anastasia is running out of time.”

“Okay fine.” Shiv followed Zakhira through the flap. “How do you expect us to find her then?”

“Just follow the screams.” Drayk chuckled.

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