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Story Time Contest: Hero Edition
8th Aug 2012 at 6:58 PM
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Kylara, having been adopted in a blood ritual by Lord Alfric, was dragged back in time to recover the Crown of the Master before her professor, who is apparently not human, could use her class to disarm the traps around it. When they arrived, he dug up some "expendable" clothing for her to wear, and then gave her a flower and some jewelry which he said would mark her as his apprentice, and taught her a pass phrase and countersign. Just as they were leaving, he told her that someone was coming and then vanished.
As the footsteps grew louder, Kylara wondered if Lord Alfric always made his apprentices wear such hideous outfits, and wished again that she would not have to be seen in these clothes. As Professor Greymane turned the corner she heard the invisible Lord Alfric whisper "Remember, sign and countersign only. Nothing else."
It was definitely Professor Greymane who entered, but his complexion was odd. He glanced at her. "I see Starhome has a new apprentice. Or are you just a bed-warmer?"
She blushed, but replied "The crown of the master is his reputation."
He nodded. "Apprentice, then. Has he ever decided what you are supposed to do if someone doesn't give the countersign? Keep asking? Walk away? Challenge that person to a duel?" He laughed. She waited, but Lord Alfric was silent.
Finally she turned to walk away, and he grabbed her arm. "May the master's crown be forever bright, or whatever he's changed it to. We haven't been properly introduced. I am Sir Dominic Greymane; second of the Royal Battlemages. And even he will admit that I am a much better teacher than your master, unless you enjoy learning by being led through monster lairs and casting random spells to see what happens."
He released her arm. "I actually enjoy teaching. With him it tends to end up being rather haphazard. I won't say you can't learn from him, perhaps even more than I could teach, but I will say that teaching is not one of his many talents. We are likely to be seeing more of each other when he decides that you need some remedial tutoring to cover gaps that he has left in your studies."
The thought briefly crossed her mind that this sounded a bit familiar. As she left the house Lord Alfric reappeared and smiled proudly at her. "You made quite an impression on him. But unfortunately we must hurry now. He will be contacting me to congratulate me on my new apprentice. My earlier self won't remember -having- a new apprentice. And I wasn't exactly the nicest person that you could find."
"I can believe that," she muttered. In a louder voice she asked "Are you ever going to tell me anything more about this crown that we are looking for? "
"Does it really matter? It would be wise not to be here when my past self arrives with questions for you."
She reluctantly agreed, and he led the way into a cave complex and stopped near a rock by one of the cave walls. "First, you will need to dissipate fire, and focus the spell on this rock."
She stepped well away from the rock. "I think we may have a few minutes for you to explain why this thing is so important that you had to do all this to me. I appreciate being adopted. All the kids in the orphanage dream of being adopted and having a real family, and we all realize that once we are older than toddlers the odds drop enormously.
And it was rather exciting to read about "my father" in the history books. Even with everything else, I don't really want you to stop being my father. But you keep taking over my body, without even asking me first, and now you have dragged me back into danger in the past. I'm old enough to know what I'm doing if you are going to expect me to do it, aren't I?"
He sighed and sat down on the floor. "The crown is actually a ring, similar to the one I gave you. It can generate an illusion of a crown as one of its powers. Its primary function is to cause the wearer to be perceived as a trustworthy and wise friend who deserves to be obeyed. This will work on anyone who is not actively shielded against it, or who does not have strong prior knowledge that the wearer is untrustworthy. It also allows mind-reading, a bit of clairvoyance or prediction, and even the ability to send your spirit into another body for a while. My body was wearing it when I died, but I was not in my body, which may be why I kept some of the power from it. Yes, I did deceive you somewhat. There is no danger that I will be arriving at the house, because my body is trapped here. We are actually rescuing me."
He stood up and gave her a tender smile. "And now we are rescuing you as well. The cave sealed itself when we entered. We are both trapped now."
She was angry, but something else occurred to her as well. "Won't rescuing you cause a paradox? It is interfering with the fixed events of the past, after all."
"Not at alll. I survived as a ghost; I could easily have survived as a man. Nothing of substance would change, therefore there will be no paradox."
"You have even arranged for a body to be in the cave where yours used to be, haven't you?" She stalked over to the boulder sealing the entrance and studied it. "I'm sorry, Father, but I don't think I want to play your game anymore. There has to be a way to open this thing."
She felt him beginning to take over her body again, and became furious. "Get OUT!" she screamed, both mentally and physically. Suddenly he reappeared, passed out on the floor. She was startled, but glad that it had apparently worked. "If I had any desire to rescue your past self, you just killed it." she told the unconscious form as she returned to studying the boulder sealing the cave.
As she experimented with another way to move the boulder, she heard him say "Who are you?"
Without bothering to turn around she replied "You know who I am. I'm the idiot that you said you were adopting, but were simply planning to use to rescue your past self. And I'm not interested in your games anymore. I was watching when you brought us here, so I think that I can get back to the present on my own once I get out of this cave."
"Ah, yes. There I am... How did you manage to knock a ghost unconscious?" She turned, and saw that she had been joined by the living version of Lord Alfric.
She shrugged. "I suppose I probably have said too much already, but just for future reference, I got really tired of having my body used without my permission, so I pitched him...you...back out. It doesn't seem to have been very good for him."
He gazed at the unconscious ghost. "No, apparently not." Turning back to her, he asked. "Did I hear correctly that you had come here to rescue me?"
"No. HE came here to rescue you. I came here because he was lying through his teeth, and I was stupid enough to believe him."
He shook his head. "I never lie. I may make mistakes, or forget to mention things, but I never actually lie."
A moan alerted both of them that the ghost was waking up. The living Lord Alfric turned to the ghost. "I believe we owe this young lady an apology. She is accusing you of having lied to her."
Kylara glared at both of them. "NO!
It's too damn late to apologize.
You have me stuck inside a cave that you were trapped in until you died, I'm 400 years in my own past, you have me wearing the weirdest clothes you could find, and you wouldn't even tell me what was really going on until we were blocked in. Somehow an apology just isn't going to cut it right now!" She pointed at the rock blocking the entrance. "Right now I trust THAT more than I trust you!" She began working on the rock again.
The living Lord Alfric turned to the ghost. "I think I like her. Where did we find her?"
"In a library at midnight, inventing spells for which she had no training. It will not surprise me if she does find a way to reverse the spell on the entrance and get us out of here without having to go through the gauntlet."
He smiled at her back. "And whether or not you accept it, I do apologize for misleading you, and for dragging you into danger like this. But Greymane does appear to intend to use your classmates to pass the gauntlet, now that he is sure that I perished here. That was completely genuine. And I am understandably anxious to free myself of this trap that Greymane put me in."
"I don't care. And you forgot to apologize for these clothes," she grumbled petulantly. There was a momentary flash from a ring on the living Alfric's finger. She started to give them an apologetic smile, then suddenlly stopped. "HEY! NO!" She shook her head to clear it. "You need to practice having a relationship that doesn't involve running people like puppets! Are you sure that Professor Greymane didn't just get tired of having you take him over?"
The two Lord Alfrics appeared to consult each other. Finally the living one turned to her and handed her the ring he was wearing. "You cannot keep it yet. That -will- cause a paradox. But you can use it to determine the truth behind what my ghost has been telling you. Perhaps that will help you decide your next course of action."
She gingerly put the ring on, ready to remove it at the first sign of trouble. Nothing happened. "So how does this work?" she asked. They both bowed to her. "You seem to have figured it out," they replied in unison.
Suddenly her mind was flooded with information. The part that frightened her the most was that Professor Greymane was not the only non-human member of the Royal Battlemages. It was true that he was a demon, hunting souls, but Lord Alfric was also half elven and half demonic. And his blood ritual when he adopted her had also begun a transformation in her to make her physically his daughter.
Current Events: What did you use this chapter? Finding Judas, Kidnapped,
Previous Events: Makeover, Time Travel
Word Count: 1696
CC Used: Allowed: Legend Isles Lyonesse world by Sookielee, Euphoria Skin by Fawkes, ear sliders by Cmar
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