Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Brothers Tuerl & The Staffs of Zeus - 5

Chapter 5 The White Citadel
After the two boys passed the doorway, Blackington squeezed his way in and closed the door behind him.  Irgen and Idus looked around them, and in this tiny enclosed space they finally started to grasp what had just happened.  At their entrance the room fell silent.  It seemed everyone was waiting for one of them to speak.  After a long silence Idus finally managed to splutter “What… Going… On?”
All seven of the adults in the crowded entryway burst out laughing, but it wasn’t the kind of easygoing laughter you would normally hear.  Instead, it was loud and obnoxious, for it was at one of those times of great stress and danger during which it seems as though everyone is put in a pressure cooker and the steam inside of it builds and builds until the the top comes off and all the steam is let out, and although Idus didn’t know it, the words he had just spoken had opened the pressure cooker.
“Well done lad.”  Cried a voice from the 5 men behind Jennifer.  “What.. Going… On…. Indeed.”  As he spoke these words his dark brown eyes brimmed over with mirth and he began guffawing loudly again.
The laughter filled the air in the house for a long while until even Irgen and Idus had joined in.  Finally it began to fade and Blackington started to speak, still wiping tears of laughter from his eyes, he addressed the men in the back.  “Have Brown and LeShore been sent to wipe memories and clear the scene of the fight?”
“Oh… ummm… Yes Thomas yes they have.”  Came the same cheery voice from the back of the room.
“Hmmmm…  If that’s the case then I fear we have lingered here too long.  For fifteen years we avoided using magic here to leave no trace of you two being in this area, but now, after tonight, it could only be a matter of seconds before they track us here into this very house.”  Suddenly the atmosphere became pressurized and charged again.  Blackington had just put the top back on.
“Alexander, I need you to get a message to Brown and LeShore…  Let them know we are heading back to headquarters, and have them come as quickly as possible.  We have no time left to mingle with Spartans.  Now quickly, Irgen, Idus, grab a hold of me again.  We’ll see the rest of you in a few minutes,” Then he paused and whispered “and Alex do hurry.”  With these words six flashes of bright white light illuminated the house, and the small portly figure of Alex was left alone, scurrying hurriedly out of the house.
Irgen and Idus once again heard the air whistling around them, but this time they also felt as if an unseen force was holding them next to Blackington and also shielding them from the enormous force of the wind around them.  They also had relaxed enough now to be able to focus on the beautiful landscape which flew rapidly beneath their feet.  They watched with undivided attention as they flew over the expansive Rocky Mountains of Colorado, and then through the wide open plains of the Midwestern United States.  They continued onward and suddenly they were passing a coast that they decided must be the Atlantic coast, but before they could recognize any sights the coast had shrunken away into the distance and they were flying over the wide open, vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean.
It was during this time that the sun reappeared on the horizon.  After a couple of minutes they found coastline again, but this time it was coming towards them, not going away.  They watched, astonished, as they passed over more water and then back onto land, and then they finally felt themselves start to descend towards the earth again.  But as they descended it seemed as though the earth rose up to meet them.  It was only then the brothers realized they had entered a mountain range.
Then just as suddenly as their ride had begun, they found themselves on dry ground staring up at the sun which was now getting high in the sky.  Next to them they found the four other Knights and Jennifer.  They seemed to have arrived a little while before.  The thought occurred to Idus that maybe lighter people traveled faster using whatever kind of mage travel they had just used.
Irgen and Idus let go of Blackington and began to look around.  Irgen looked north and found they were on a lush green, steppe-like clearing in the middle of a mountain slope.  He could see the snow-capped tops of the surrounding mountains, and nearby he could see the beautiful, tall evergreen trees.
Idus on the other hand looked south and gasped in astonishment at what he saw.  Before him stood an immense, ornate, stone castle spiraling into the sky next to a massive mountain.  He looked in wonder at the beauty which seemed to radiate from the very simplest walls of the castle.  Idus sat stupefied by what he was seeing and it wasn’t until Irgen turned around and gasped that he found himself able to take in the details of it.
The castle was protected on the outside by a large fifty foot white granite wall with a stupendously strong, gaping steel gate.  The castle itself was surrounded by four large stone towers which rose gracefully into the air until ending roughly in a spiraling point.  Each tower had its own flag perched precariously at the top of the spiral, although they were each different colors.  One was brilliantly red, while another was dark blue, and another was luscious green and the last one was a bright electric yellow.  Each of these towers was in turn connected to a gigantic middle turret which rose like a giant behemoth into the air until it stopped at what appeared to be a flat terrace.  In the middle of this flat terrace was the largest flag of them all.  Standing like a proud eagle on top of the tallest tower was a large resilient white flag, but there was something strange about each of these flags for they did not just dully reflect the light from the sun.  Instead, they seemed to create a brilliant radiance of their own, which caused each to shine and sparkle even, as Irgen thought, in the darkest night.

“Welcome my friends to the north European Alps, and to the White Citadel.  Although it’s real name is Wei├če Zitadelle.”  Irgen and Idus looked at him with shocked expressions on their faces, for in this new environment he looked positively cheerful, something they didn’t think could ever register on what they had supposed was a rather depressed face.  “Shall we go inside?”  Came the blissful, deep voice.  With these last words the eight of them walked through the formidable gates, onto a cobblestone street, surrounded by a vividly green lawn, which went off into the distance before it came to a halt next to a massive stone door, which was the entrance to the largest and most dominating, central tower.

Chapter 4                         Chapter 5

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