The corridor was cold, dark and damp. It seemed to swallow up the light from the torches on the walls. David had been through here once before, but he had been wearing a blind fold at the time. At least he thought it was through here. It was a rare occasion to be even called, much less asked to come here. He knew this meeting meant something important would need to be done, and that was never a good thing.
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The man leading the way was Latham. David sized him up and could tell this man wasn't just a guide. He carried himself like a soldier. His skin was battled hardened and the lines on his face ran deep. He wasn't old, but he had seen his share of battles. He had told David to follow him and he could feel the sense of presence; this man was used to commanding people. David thought he must be a Captain. Even in these hard times a General would not be leading people through tunnels like a servant.
David had seen his share of military campaigns when he was younger. His father had served in the Kings army and when he was old enough, he joined their ranks as well. But times were different now. Those who fight on the side of good were forced to huddle into tunnels to make plans. Fighting like outlaws and bandits trying to reclaim the world that was taken when those vile creatures came.
After several twists and turns, the tunnel opened out a bit and at the end was a barred door with two guards. Latham motioned and they moved aside. Latham pushed open the door and pointed. "They are waiting inside."
Reluctantly, David stepped into the large room. The metal creak of the door and the ring of stone and metal made the man nervous, but he had no choice but to continue. Looking forward, he took in a deep breath and started towards the table, and though the room was very dim, the dark presence of the Council could be felt about the room. David had served the Council before as an assassin. Sometimes David wondered whose side they were truly on. They always seemed so…dark and dreary.
David was easily able to distinguish the raspy voice of Garth. The Council’s leader was a short man, nearly a head shorter than David, but his authority reined over all that he wished it too. David had never seen the man’s face; he always stayed hidden behind his jet-black cloak. The man shivered. Garth reminded him of a snake. David hated snakes.
David sat down in the hard wooden chair. “What have I been called for, Lord Garth?”
“We have a problem,” said the black-clad man. “Kel is returning, this time with forces beyond numbers. His Dragons have multiplied, as have his ground forces.” David’s jaw dropped open. “Yes, he is fabled dead, but I have seen with my own eyes. The Vors have returned.”
A thousand questions ran through David’s mind. Where had he gotten the Vors? Those reptilian creatures had long been extinct. And the only dragon left, according to The Records, was said to live deep in the sea, and impossible to awake. Clearing his voice, David said, “What, Lord, does this have to do with a man with such little importance as me?”
David “felt” the man smile. “That is actually not the problem, David. King Minloc is the problem. We want you to…do us a favor, David.”
The sound of his voice sent a chill up David’s spine. After clearing his throat, he managed a hoarse, “What, my Lord?”
“Kill the King.”
David’s eyes shot open, and instantly his hand went to his side. But he cursed inwardly when he realized that the weapon had been left at the door; no one save the King was allowed to wear a sword in the presence of the Council. Again, David felt Garth smile. “You will do it, or…unpleasant things will happen.”
Garth nodded to the two men beside him, and they seized David. He struggled to get free from them as one drew a long knife from his belt, then let loose a scream of pain as the sharp golden blade scraped the skin off of his chest. Another layer of skin was cut from his chest. With a sharp motion from Garth, the two stopped. David sat panting at the pain in his chest. “Well,” said Garth, “will the task be done, or not?”
“Why, my Lord,” said David, “must we kill the King?”
Garth let loose a laugh, and the hood was pulled back to reveal a charred and burned face, the skin loosely hanging from the skull. Two blazing blue eyes sat in the sockets--two unhuman eyes. David instantly knew it was Kel; pictures of many had been painted and drawn and sat in the Great Library. “You see why, my friend?”
David gasped. “No!” He shouted in a confident, yet full-of-fear tone. “I will not do as you please. Go back to Shadow Berith, where you belong, you wretched worm!”
And the dagger was plunged deep into David’s heart.
* * *
Gasping, David sat up from his soft bed, then hurried out to get on his clothes. So the prophecies were complete.
‘For none shall know that he is he, except for the one who dreams. He shall hide behind his mask, one of deception and lies, but the Stream of Blood shall be drained and all shall have life again.’
“The one who dreams,” David muttered. A chill went up his spine. “That’s me.” David was one of few who was able to predict the future in dreams. Many times he had saved people’s lives, sure, but he had hated the responsibility. Until now. He was to save the King, which meant he had to go to the palace and warn him. The King always believed David, for he knew he was a Dreamer.
Looking behind him, he turned towards the hallway and ran towards the palace, then nearly collided with Latham. The man showed surprise for only a moment; he was an emotionless man. “There is a meeting you are to attend, David. Come this way.”
David froze. What should he do? “All right, sir,” he said in a shaky tone. “But, ah, the King has called me for a reason I do not know. I have to see him first.”
Latham eyed him suspiciously, but then nodded an ok. “Come soon as possible. The Council is eager to see you.”
...And they did shake the world with battle.