|Part 7 of my The Adventures of Llyle weekly serial |
Here's your weekly dose of fantasy
For those keeping up with the story, I hope you're enjoying it
Just a reminder that next week there will not be a post, as I have academic obligations to attend to first, but it will be back again the week after!
If you have some art or lit to whore, go ahead in the comments
TAoL Part 7: A History LessonLlyle gripped the handlebars of the hover scooter as tightly as he could and made it shift quite sharply in an attempt to dodge whatever was racing towards him. He looked back at Arthur, who seemed to be completely calm and strangely unconcerned. To his amazement, the creature slowed and stopped right before them, idly flapping its huge wings to keep it in place.TAoL Part 7: A History Lesson by Green-EyedTiger
“Ah, Good Arthur, it is but you” it said in a feminine voice with a mixture of delight and disappointment.
“You are easier to recognise at a distance, my friend, so I do not hold it against you.” The Guide replied, waving his hand dismissively.
Llyle turned back to the old fae. “You know this thing?” he asked, his face horror-stricken.
“I am not a thing. I am a proud, and very old, creature known as a quetzelcoatl.” And its feathers puffed out in disgruntlement.
“The boy meant no harm, Sartrix. Calm yourself.”
The queztelcoatl’s feathers ruffled but flattened ba
TAoL Part 6: The Guide's DenArthur suddenly stood up and turned towards the hole in the huge tree. He invited Llyle inside and told Andorin to take Lizzy back to the Port where they’d be of more use as they could help with salvage and repair. The boy looked at his friend, reluctant to be separated from her so soon after meeting her, even though he’d basically done so not a few hours before. The fae girl just smiled at him and told him that they will be fine and that he should go in. Llyle nodded and stood up, gave Lizzy one last look before following Arthur inside.TAoL Part 6: The Guide's Den by Green-EyedTiger
They followed a wide, spiral staircase running clockwise beneath the tree, which was lit by a familiar blue light. The origin of this light, however, was not quite apparent to Llyle. After a few turns it ended at an archway, which led into a large, circular room filled with the usual things one might find in a lounge of sitting room; a couch, a coffee table, a foot stool, a well-worn carpet, as well as some shelves containing little
TAol: Part 5 - The Dream SpringLlyle reached into his pocket and withdrew the pale-blue star. “Do you mean this?” he asked Arthur slowly. “How on…. Avalon can this be it?”TAol: Part 5 - The Dream Spring by Green-EyedTiger
“Well, Llyle, what you’re holding is not just a star, but a wish.”
“A wish? Like the kind you make when blowing out birthday candles and with fallen eyelashes?”
“Not quite, my dear boy. You see, this wish will do almost whatever you want, such as protect yourself or a young lady from harm.” Arthur looked pointedly at Lizzy to add weight to his example. The fae girl blushed and looked at the ground.
“Excuse me, sir,” Andorin said softly, “if you know all this, I take it you must had endured some similar quest?”
“I see that I chose well all those years ago. You’re perceptive, young man.” Arthur began rocking back and forth in his chair again. “It’s true. You see, Llyle, I was tasked with the same burden, and so was everyone b
The Adventures of Llyle(Part 4:Forest of Memories)The fae man, whose name turned out to be Andorin, led Llyle and Lizzie towards a forest known as the Forest of Memories. When Llyle asked why it was called that, Andorin explained that it was named after the fruit that grew on a certain tree in the centre of the forest. Its fruit would give back the memories of the person who ate it.The Adventures of Llyle(Part 4:Forest of Memories) by Green-EyedTiger
After walking through the rustling forest for over an hour, the trio came to a clearer patch of forest with a single, huge tree in its centre. Hundreds of thick, twisting branching sprouted from its impossibly thick trunk and ruby-coloured, mango-shaped fruit hung heavy from them. Nestled between the roots was a cave-like hollow, and in front of it was an elderly fae sitting in a rocking chair, rocking sedately back and forth.
“Wow,” was all Llyle and Lizzie could say at the sight of the monstrously large titan of a tree.
“Take your time gawking, you two. He’s waited this long, so some gawking won’t make any difference.”
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Arthur suddenly stood up and turned towards the hole in the huge tree. He invited Llyle inside and told Andorin to take Lizzy back to the Port where they’d be of more use as they could help with salvage and repair. The boy looked at his friend, reluctant to be separated from her so soon after meeting her, even though he’d basically done so not a few hours before. The fae girl just smiled at him and told him that they will be fine and that he should go in. Llyle nodded and stood up, gave Lizzy one last look before following Arthur inside.
They followed a wide, spiral staircase running clockwise beneath the tree, which was lit by a familiar blue light. The origin of this light, however, was not quite apparent to Llyle. After a few turns it ended at an archway, which led into a large, circular room filled with the usual things one might find in a lounge of sitting room; a couch, a coffee table, a foot stool, a well-worn carpet, as well as some shelves containing little knick-knacks. At irregular intervals along the room’s wall were other thick roots, almost as if they had grown around the room. It too was lit by a familiar blue light. Llyle looked around while Arthur continued walking across the room, only to wait at another archway.
As Llyle slowly scanned the room, he found the source of the light; many shining Stars hung from the ceiling or were set in elaborate, glowing brackets. In the centre of the ceiling hung a chandelier shaped like a smaller tree’s roots, a Star held at the end of each root.
“Arthur, who made all this?” Llyle asked with his mouth agape while he stared at the chandelier.
“It’s rude to stare, Llyle” Arthur replied patiently. “It was made long ago by some long-forgotten Guide, as is all of this. It might just be possible to find out, however.”
“Really? How? With your Crystal Ball?”
“I hadn’t thought of that, but no. Come and you shall see.”
The boy stopped his gawking and quickly joined up with the Guide. They travelled down another staircase, though this one was much shorter and only went down for one turn before ending at another archway, through which came the most amazingly bright and blue light Llyle had ever seen.
“I know you’ll like this next room, Llyle. I know I did. You won’t find answers as to who built the Den, but you will learn something special.”
Llyle didn’t know what the old fae meant by that, but the boy followed him into the room anyway. He had to blink against the bright light until his eyes adjusted, but when they did, all he could do was whistle in appreciation of the sight before him.
The room was even larger than the one above them, and its contents emitted so much light that there wasn’t a single shadow to be seen. Llyle slowly walked among stands of glowing armours, racks of every sort of bladed weapon he could think of, which weren’t many due to his age, and then some. Here and there were shields of many shapes and designs, other strange doo-dads and who knew what else from just gazing at the room.
“Quite a sight, ey?” Arthur said with an air of pride.
“What is all this stuff?” Llyle asked in a hushed whisper, so in awe of the room that he could barely speak.
“It is called the Armoury. This is where all the tools of our predecessors are kept, more as a reminder of the past than anything else, as most of these things are useless to anyone but their creators.”
Llyle was about to pick up a broadsword off a rack but stopped short. He turned to Arthur, confusion evident on his face. “Why is that? Surely weapons are just weapons? I guess I can understand why for the suits of armour, as some of them are so big!”
The old fae walked over to a rack behind Llyle and picked up a wide-bladed claymore. He did a slow and intricate dance with it before returning the sword to its rack. Arthur sighed. “Many of our predecessors were very possessive, and so they created their gear so that it could only be used by them. Your hand would pass through them if you tried to pick one up, though others would not.”
“What about that sword you just took and played with? It must have belonged to someone huge to have been used!”
The old fae man smiled down at the boy. “That was my blade, which I wielded all those years ago in the last Cleansing.”
“You have to be lying, sir, because that sword had to be way too big and heavy for you to use properly…”
The Guide shook his head and gently propelled Llyle across the room to yet another, but unseen, door. “Remember, Llyle, that what you make of a wish is limited by your mind. What you make can weigh whatever you want it to weigh without taking away its most defining property. Some weapons, such as a warhammer, would preferably be heavy, as that is what the wielder may want. My claymore, however, was feather light and very sharp. Now, on towards the final room.”
Arthur led Llyle down another staircase. The last room was the biggest of the three, its walls lined floor-to-ceiling with mostly-full book cases formed from interwoven tree roots. The lighting was also much dimmer, just right for reading in. The shelves were filled with volumes written by previous Guides; some where personal histories, others recounting many journeys to the Crown Peak and the milestones along the way. Some even recounted previous experimentations with the limits and capabilities of the stars, divulging secret upon secret about what could and could not be done with them.
“So many….” Said Llyle softly.
“Do not worry, my boy. You do not need to read them all, not for this journey. That is the job of the Guide in preparation for receiving of the next Guide-To-Be.”
“Does that mean I’ll have to read all these if I choose to stay?” Llyle asked, disheartened at the prospect of reading so much. Would he even be able to read it all?
“Pretty much. I did, and I rather enjoy knowing all those secrets. Now, I will pass them on to you. Come along.” Arthur began the trek back up the stairs, Llyle in toe. They didn’t stop until they reached the first room. “Please sit in the couch” the old fae said as he sat down in a plush armchair. Llyle sat and fidgeted awkwardly.
From somewhere that seemed like thin air, Arthur produced a small Star and handed it to Llyle. “We will be starting your first lesson right now, as there is no better time to start.” Arthur said in an authoritative tone. Llyle took it and turned it over in his fingers. It looked like all the others he had seen, if not a little bit smaller.
“I want you to imagine that Star as a fruit.”
“That’s it? I just imagine it as whatever I want? Which is a fruit, yes?”
“Any fruit you like, yes.” And Arthur nodded encouragingly.
Llyle just shrugged and looked at the Star, concentrating, mentally reshaping it into a fruit for many minutes. This fruit turned out to be a mango. A glowing mango. Why a mango? Mangos were Llyle’s favourite. Arthur clapped softly to Llyle’s left. “Very good” he said, most pleased. “We shall try something theoretically more difficult as I am quite sure you may not know it yet. I wish for you to turn that lovely, big, glowing mango into a cube.”
“Well, you would be right, there. What is a cube?”
“It is a box shape with all the sides being of equal size, just like a die. You have played board games, yes?”
“Of course I have. I’ll try. Like a dice?”
“Exactly, only much larger, if you will. Oh, and with no spots.”
Arthur then sat patiently while Llyle’s mind worked hard at morphing the oddly shaped mango into a cube. After some time it began to deform and reshape, though the result was a very Picasso-esque, twisted cube. Llyle was rather disappointed in the result and sighed.
“Not to worry. I didn’t get it on my first try, either,” though what Arthur said was a well-concealed lie to ensure the boy’s feelings were spared. “Oh, I know what would cheer your little head up.”
“Follow me, and you’ll see” Arthur said, rubbing the side of his nose and winking. He got up and motioned for Llyle to follow, which he did. They went up the three revolutions of stairs and came out into what looked like the orange glow of sunset, filtering in through the leaves high above their heads. Arthur kept walking and so Llyle couldn’t stand around contemplating how much time had really passed in the Den. They walked around the broad base of the huge tree and then up a large buttress root. At the top was another hollow, and coming from it was the blue glow of the Stars.
They walked in and Llyle just stared at what stood before them. Arthur looked like he would burst from excitement. “So? What do you think?”
“Um…What is it?” this question seemed to deflate Arthur’s mirth just a bit.
“Isn’t it obvious? It’s an air cart!”
Llyle turned to look at the old fae as if he’d gone crazy in the short time between them leaving the Den to getting up to this weird garage. Where were the wheels on that thing, anyway? “Annnnnd we’re going to do what with it, exactly?”
“Well, I’m going to teach you how to fly it!”
“Excuse me?” Llyle paled. The thought of falling off that rather unsafe-looking device did not appeal to him at all. No doubt, it would be worse than falling off a bicycle.
Arthur quickly walked over to the back of it and got into the seat. He then motioned for Llyle to stand in front, behind what looked like handlebars on a pedestal. He did so with great reluctance, though nothing happened. “This will be another lesson, Llyle. What you need to do is concentrate on lifting the cart, thus moving it. This, in turn, will move us.”
“Arthur, I’m not a psychic.”
“Oh, pish posh. Just give it a try. This is much easier than reshaping.” He said, though his excitement was more encouraging than his words. Llyle sighed in resignation and put his brain to work. Within a few seconds, the “Air Cart” was lifting, rather slowly, off the floor. His eyes almost fell out in surprise when he saw they’d actually levitated.
“Good, good!” exclaimed Arthur, who leaned forward to pat Llyle on the shoulder. “Now, move us out the exact same way. Just imagine moving the cart forward, out of the hollow, and then upwards once again until we are above the trees.”
Llyle didn’t quite know what to say to that but thought it can’t be so hard, so he just went with it. The cart, which he mentally decided was more of a hover scooter anyway, slowly moved forward and through the hollow. He gulped nervously, took a deep breath and slowly made the hover scooter rise higher and higher. They floated between the immense branches and Dreamfruit on their up, the canopy of the forest growing closer and closer until they passed right through it, up into the open air.
The view that greeted the two was quite a thing to behold. A sunset of crimson, gold, blues, purples and even some yellow highlighting the clouds and mirrored on the still Dream River not too far away. Arthur just smiled and sighed, having missed that view since his wings had given out fifty years before. Llyle stared, watching the sun set and the colours change and fade.
Something in the corner of his eye caught his attention. He turned his head to the right, thinking it was some bird. It had large wings, feathers like a rainbow along its body, was rather serpentine and quite big. It was also racing towards them with its mouth wide open, gleaming fangs prominently on display.