Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Brothers Tuerl & The Staffs of Zeus - 17

Chapter 17-Love
Irgen jumped, as he felt a cold hand press against his face.  He opened his tightly compressed eyes, to gaze at this newfound disturbance.  A blurry picture of a large white object appeared in front of his face.  He blinked, clearing his eyes, and found the object to be a hand.  It withdrew itself as he eagerly sat up.  He looked around and found that he was under crisp, clean, white linen sheets.  Around him he noticed a couple of other beds with the same white sheets, although he could not tell what was in them.  And in front of him, was a great crowd of people, but the most familiar to him, and the one to whom the hand belonged, was his mother.  A feeling of relief flooded him.  He had only had a dream, a mere nightmare, now he was safe. 
“About time you woke up.  We’ve been waiting hours for you two to wake.”  Jennifer smiled; she was unable to conceal her happiness that he was ok, in her playful reprimand.  He looked at her and questions flooded into his mind.
“What happened?  Did we win?  How did we get back here?  And where is here?  Is Idus alright?”  His exuberant attitude towards the questions died down as he pensively asked the last one.
“Hmmmmm…Well that’s a lot of questions, but to start with the last one first.  Alright.  Idus is…  Well, to tell you the truth we don’t know how Idus is.  His condition is stable, he is breathing, and he has a pulse, but…I am afraid he has done something which no other mage has ever done before, and he is paying dearly for it.”  She looked at Irgen with a depressed dejected face.  “We do not know how he even survived this long.  Although, I think you may have the answer to that.”  She looked thoughtfully at him before continuing.  “As for your other questions, you are on the fifth floor of The White Citadel.  It is what we use primarily as our hospital wing.  You are here because we carried you here along with the other wounded.”  Her eyes moistened as she said this.  She sniveled before going on.
“We did, how did you word it, oh yes, win the battle, if you can place a victory sticker on any loss of life.  And, to tell you what happened…  Well, maybe you should ask your father.”  She turned and Irgen’s eyes bulged.  Before him in the crowd of people, was a tall, familiarly handsome man.
He looked to be a couple inches taller than Irgen.  He had Irgen’s dark brown hair, but his eyes were the same as Idus’.  They were the same deep blue, but in them was a look of unfathomable agony.  A strong prominent chin was the only remaining testament to a smooth handsome face.  His cheeks had gruesome cuts and what looked like burns in them.  He had large black shadows around his eyes.  Irgen felt a shiver go through his body as his father suddenly reached for him and showed his grisly arms.  They too were deformed in an inhumane manner.  Deep gashes plagued his skin, and where the hair on his skin once was; only little red spots of blood remained.  It was André, Irgen’s father.
As the hand reached for him, Irgen shrunk back in revulsion, but then a feeling of pity came over him.  After all this was his father.  He looked at him and somehow, at that moment, he found love for a father who had never been there for him.  He looked at that poor, wretched soul, and he found compassion enter his stiffened body.  André’s calloused hands touched his, and he felt a bond begin to grow between himself and his father.
A graceful smooth bass voice rang out.  Irgen thought it was a lot like Blackington’s.  “My, Son...”  His father stopped, unable to continue.  Tears flowed down his scarred cheeks as he gazed at Irgen.  Irgen brushed a hand over his face as he felt wet tears run freely, down his own face.  The room was utterly silent, as the pair gazed at each other for a long time.  Then Irgen reached out and the two hugged in a tight embrace.  An embrace, which Irgen had never felt, from a father he had never known.  Sobs broke the silence at this touching show of affection. 
After a long moment they separated, and André cleared his emotional throat.  “Irgen, there are few instances in which what needs to be said, has already been said, but I deem that this is one of those times.  Forgive me if my simple greeting did not seem eloquent or indeed, adequate for the moment, but all too often life is built on the simple things of life.”  He took a deep breath and closed his eyes.  He slowly opened his eyes as he spoke again.  “You have asked for the one thing which I am loathe to give you.  I cannot tell you my arduous tale until I understand yours…  Irgen, what happened tonight between you and your brother?”  He looked searchingly at Irgen beneath his half opened eyes.
Irgen looked back dumbfounded.  All the memories of the past night flooded back to him.  He thought of the fight.  He thought of his brother’s fury, and finally he thought of the strong link between the two of them.  “I don’t know what happened.”  He said quietly.  “It was as though the two of us became one.  I-I felt as though I shared his energy, and he shared mine.”  He looked confusedly at André.
“Hmmmmm…”  André looked at Blackington with raised eyebrows, before addressing Irgen.  “Do you know what Idus did tonight?”  Irgen shook his head, “he conjured something so terrible that it was sucking his very life energy dry…  He conjured a lightning bolt, and worse than that he conjured one to kill two people.  You see Irgen; you two are conjurers, while everyone else in this room is a mage…”  He hesitated, pondering what to say next.  “We, were all like you at your age… although less than you…  There have been many strange events occurring over the past few years which we have had no explanation for, and not the least of these is you two.”  His eyes began to glitter as the sadness began to leave them.
“I will explain later when Idus comes to, as I’m sure he will, now that I have heard what you said.  You see Irgen conjurers like yourself have one element which is bonded to your very life.  You have fire running through your veins, while your brother has air, and more particularly lightning.  Every other Knight except you and your mother, have water, while your mother has the power of the earth in her veins.  It is a long tale as to why this has occurred, but all will be explained later.”  He gazed at Irgen as though trying to infuse him with patience.  He sighed as he saw how keenly Irgen was paying attention.
“Conjuring is a very hard art to learn, most study their whole lives and never find a way to truly control their element.  You see, conjuring takes strength from inside of you.  You have heard, no doubt, about the laws of conservation of mass and energy.  Conjurers do not have the same laws.  They are different in their very make up.  You see, Spartans have found that when a tiny nucleus of an atom splits, an enormous amount of energy is let off into the atmosphere.  The energy released equals mass times the speed of light squared.  Now with conjurers it is…Well…Different.
Conjurers do everything in terms of energy.  They can use a tiny amount of energy and create an object with immeasurable mass, but in order to create an object with a huge amount of energy, a huge amount of energy is required to create it.  For example, I can fill the whole castle grounds with water and not even break a sweat.  This is possible because only a small amount of energy is required to control something that already exists, but a lightning bolt is an entirely different matter, because you are transferring part of your own energy outside of you.  You are not just exerting force within your body and using energy.  No, instead you are getting rid of it entirely, you are pushing it outside of your body, and this in turn creates a drain on a person’s body.
Few can withstand the physical drain on their bodies.  That is why it is so amazing that Idus is still alive.  There are very few Lightning Conjurers in the world today because of that fact.  They stretch themselves too quickly and end up paying the ultimate price.  Their energy leaves them, and they kill themselves. 
“But if that’s the case, then why is Idus still alive?”  Irgen interjected.
“Don’t you already know?”  Thomas exclaimed incredulously from the background.  “Dear me!”  He said as he scratched his chin.  “It has to do with your link of course.  You said it yourself; you said it was like you were one.  It seems that you shared your own energy with your brother.  You saved him.”  His last words rang out, creating a hollow silence.  André finally broke it with a whisper, although it seemed as though he was talking to himself.
“Yes, and it is an incredible feat.  I have never heard the likes of it before.  You two are truly remarkable.  Neither of you are sixteen, and yet you can both use magic.  This in itself would be extraordinary, but there is more.  This…This link allows you to perform deeds that would be impossible for any other mortal man.”  He gave Irgen a scrutinizing look.  His eyes dug through his soul.  He squirmed beneath the glare.  After a while he got to a point where he couldn’t stand it anymore.  He let loose the one idea which had been threatening to burst inside of him since his father had started speaking.
“But I don’t feel extraordinary!!!  You said it yourself you’re all “Mages” and I’m only an insignificant conjurer!  Why are we different!  Why are we Special?”  He finished with an earsplitting scream.
André relaxed his glare and his war-torn face broke into a smile revealing glittering, brilliantly white teeth.  “All will be told in time, Irgen.  Do not get frustrated with me.  But in order to begin we need Idus to be awake.  Besides I think enough has been said tonight.  Eat, and regain your strength.  Tomorrow is a new day.”  The crowd got up and left as food appeared magically on a table beside Irgen.
The last one out of the room was Jennifer.  She looked at Irgen, and he heard a voice in the back of his mind which uncannily resembled hers.  “Irgen, get some good rest.  Remember patience is a virtue.”  And with a flick of her black hair she disappeared out of the doorway.
Frustration swept over Irgen as soon as everyone left, why couldn’t he ever have the answers?  He had been swept into this world of wizardry forcefully; his very brother’s life was in jeopardy, and yet he did not know anything about the world he was in.  Thinking thus, his thoughts were interrupted, and Irgen began to feel famished.  Hunger swept over him as he eyed the food next to him.  His mouth-watered as he looked at a huge slice of juicy prime-rib lying on his plate.  Next to it was a heaping pile of mashed potatoes and gravy.  He ate the heavenly food hungrily and drank from a glass of water which, no surprise, magically refilled itself.
When his hunger had been finally sated, he decided to go and examine the rest of the beds.  To his left was Idus’ bed but to his right was a row of other beds each with someone in them.  The first two beds contained two of the Knights who had slept with them the night before.  They were either soundly asleep or unconscious, Irgen couldn’t tell which.  The man Thomas had called Harold had a large bandage tied around his forehead, where he appeared to have been struck.  The other man’s leg dangled in a sling holding it above him.  It was thickly bandaged with a hard blue substance.  Irgen looked at it for a while before something caught his eye in the next bed.  Something dark stood out against the soft pillow.  He walked towards it, intrigued at what it might be.
Before he knew what he was doing he was reaching for the covers.  He pulled it back and gasped as a gorgeous, young, slender woman was revealed.  She was wearing a long white gown which clung to her slender, shapely figure.  Her silky black hair was draped sleekly over her well-formed shoulders.  Her closed eyelids augmented her attractive soft face.  Pretty black eyelashes extended from her face at an exquisite angle.  She was the most beautiful woman Irgen had ever seen.
All of a sudden, Irgen felt out of place.  His movements seemed strangely klutzy.  He had always thought his movements were uncommonly graceful and smooth.  But now, as he looked at this stunning woman before him his feet turned to lead.  His nervous system was breaking down before his very eyes.  He lifted his lumbering arms upward and found that his hands were shaking uncontrollably.  Hurriedly he lifted his now club arms and smelled himself.  The fragrance of fresh rain filled his nostrils.  He calmed down a little, and sighed with relief.  He must have been washed while he was unconscious.

He looked up, and it was only then that he noticed her irregular breathing.  Indeed, now he noticed her lips were pale purple.  He surveyed her, now looking at what could have caused this.  As he looked, he found to his horror a large bandage covering her right side.  Not knowing what he was doing, he reached for the bandages, but he never got to them, because at that moment footsteps sounded threateningly behind him, and he heard a deep voice say.  “She’s very pretty, isn’t she?”

Chapter 16                 Chapter 18

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