37/366 – The Power One Needs (Cont.)

From the beginning: 1/366 – To the Wall

continued from 36/366 – The Power One Needs

Morn’s eyes fluttered as he struggled to consciousness. He knew he needed to do something, but at the moment he couldn’t think. He had vague images swimming in his mind of the fire and Azariah.

Fire! Morn thought as he sat up. His hand was still clenched, and it took a decent amount of effort to get the stiffness to lessen before he could open his hand to see the small stone. He stumbled out of his bed and to the door where he had to catch himself from s dizzy spell. He opened his door and could here quiet talking from downstairs.

“What do you mean, she healed him?” It was Celeste’s father. Morn could recognize his voice anywhere. “She’s not a Cleric.”

“I’m only telling you what I saw,” Cleric Josten replied. “I know she’s young, but I think it may be time for her to come train with me for a while. Even the most devout of followers rarely get to hear Rashem. She was chosen, Loran. There’s no denying it.”

“I don’t like it,” Loran replied. “I don’t want my little girl being sent off to dangerous places where unthinkable things have happened.”

“I don’t believe it’s up to either of you,” Morn heard his mother say.

“Helem, you need to stay out of this,” Loran replied.

“I think I’ve stayed out of many things for a long time. My son is upstairs, sleeping through exhaustion because of Azariah. Had he not brought me back, they wouldn’t have traveled down there to get the stone for me,” she said, “I think they have proven that they are capable enough to make their own decisions.”

“The only reason any of this happened is that your son was irresponsible and reckless. Had he not broken the enchantments on the wall, nothing would have changed,” Loran said.

“Change is inevitable,” Cleric Josten said.

“Jaque didn’t fair well in his fight against the zombies,” Koldian said. “Though he did better than I would have expected by one in his age group. These three are clearly special.”

Morn crouched down as someone knocked at the door. He heard the door open, but couldn’t listen to what the person at the door was saying at first. Only his Mother’s response.

“Yes, he’s here. Please, come in,” Morn’s mother said.

“Captain, it’s overwhelmed the ranks. The reinforcements Master Scaine provided weren’t enough. It’s coming to the village.” The voice seemed familiar to Morn, but he couldn’t place it.

“Why now, of all the nights?” Loran said. “Get the men together outside the West Gate. I’ll be right behind you.”

“Yes, sir,” they replied, and Morn heard the door shut again.

“What’s happening?” Celeste croaked from behind him.

Morn felt his heart hit his throat as he spun and put a finger over his mouth. He pointed to his ear and down the stairs with his free hand.

“Keep me informed with their progress,” Loran said. “I have to go drive the beast back again, but I warn you, Josten, do not get my daughter mixed up in your business. Our job is to keep them safe, not to throw them to the monsters.”

“I only plan to have a conversation with her,” Cleric Josten replied.

“Goodbye, Helem. I-It’s nice to see you again,” Loran said before the door opened and shut again.

“Some manners he has,” Koldian said. “I don’t think he understands what’s happening. That thing outside the town is going to make it in eventually.”

“Have some faith, Koldian,” Cleric Josten said. “Rashem has a plan.”

“Rashem doesn’t have a plan,” Koldian replied. “If he did, that thing out there wouldn’t still be an issue all these years later. Your order wouldn’t have lost so many if it were a simple matter of Rashem. That is something completely different.”

“I may be able to help once Morn wakes up,” Helem said. “He has quite a grip on that stone. Once I can get my magic back, I might be able to drive it away for good.”

“It’s a shame you didn’t tell anyone about it before,” Koldian said. “I know things get weird when you bring up sorcerers, but if I’ve learned anything from knowing you-”

The door slammed behind Morn and Celeste, making them jump and spin. Jaque stumbled out of the room holding his head.

“What’re you two doing?” Jaque said, his volume too high to hide any longer.

“Kids?” Morn’s mother called up the stairs. “Are you awake?”

“Yeah, Mom,” Morn answered, “Be right down.”

“What?” Jaque asked when Celeste gave him a sour expression.

“Nothing,” Celeste said, walking down the stairs.

“It’s fine,” Morn said, “How are you feeling?”

“I feel like I was hit by a cart driven by eight horses,” Jaque replied, “You?”

“I don’t know that I’ve ever been so sore and tired,” he replied. “Let’s see what there is for food downstairs. I’m sure my mother has cooked something amazing.”

Morn and Jaque took their time going down the stairs. Each step making them both wince from the strain on their bodies. Koldian was waiting in the living room for them.

“You boys look like you’ve seen better days,” he joked.

“I think that might be an accurate statement,” Jaque replied.

“Where’s my mother?” Morn asked, “and Cleric Josten?”

“They went in the kitchen with Celeste to make some food,” Koldian replied. “You three have to be hungry after everything.”

“You have no idea,” Morn said, his stomach growling in response to the promise of food. “Can I ask you a question, since none of the other adults are here?”

“You can always ask questions, regardless of how many adults are around,” Koldian said, “that’s the beauty of being an individual seeking knowledge-”

“What keeps attacking outside the town?” Morn said.

Koldian’s face went from the regular broad smile that Morn was used to seeing when they were talking about questions to appearing as though all the color drained out of it. His mouth shut with an audible snap as his eyes darted toward the kitchen. He leaned closer to the two boys.

“I assume you heard us from upstairs?” Koldian whispered.

Morn nodded.

“I’ll tell you a little later,” Koldian said. “This is not the place or the time for such information.”

“But-” Morn began to protest, but Koldian held up a finger.

“I am a man of my word. I believe everyone should know, but most disagree with me. I will tell you later, I give you my word. Understand?” Koldian said.

Morn nodded.

“Then let’s go eat some food,” Koldian said.

continued 38/366 – The Power One Needs (Cont.)

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