Legend of Akhra (Chapter 6) by Nimbelle Ginelle Quinn
Chapter six: Nikita, Shadow Thief Musketeer
I was surprised to wake up without having any dream of Whistletone. I was also surprised that I was really well-rested. I wonder if it had something to do with Whistletone. I’m pretty sure Nigel’s kiss had nothing to do with this. It still was nice though, when he did that. He was probably just being a gentleman. That’s chivalry for you.
I got dressed in a waistcoat and brown pants, and I tied a skullcap around my head. Gwen followed me into the kitchen, and we ate breakfast before heading outside. Gwen went to go play with Polar, Michael, and Irving while Shade watched them carefully. I decided to go into the main building, since that is probably where everyone is.
As I climbed the stairs to the third floor, I thought about visiting the warning bell on the top of the building. I haven’t been up there before, and maybe Victor, Paolina, or someone else is up there, watching the blockade. I climbed the stairs rather than stopping on the third floor.
Once I reached the top of the building, I opened the top hatch and stepped onto the roof of the building. The bell hung silently, slightly swaying in the breeze. I carefully stepped around the bell and walked over to the edge of the castle building. Two airships sailed through the sky and joined the blockade. Harriet must’ve told them about the incident last night, so they are probably increasing security in Novice Order.
I sat down on the edge and watched everything; the clouds, the airships, the Lumineers running back and forth. I crossed my legs and pulled the charm of Whistletone out of my pocket. It glistened in the sunlight, and I put it back in my pocket. I stood up, but stumbled and then fell off the top of the building. Luckily, I landed on a huge pile of discarded airship balloons. The balloons were deflated, but it still cushioned my fall.
“Oi, I see you’ve fallen quite a long way,” a voice from the top of the building called down to me.
I coughed and sat up. “Y-Yeah, I did. Could you help me back up?”
“Certainly lass, I’ll help you up,” the voice replied. A person leaned over the side and stared down at me. “However, I should warn you to lean out of my range.”
“What do you mean by that?’’ I asked.
“I mean that I’m going to shoot an arrow at your feet. It has a rope tied to it, so just lean out of the way, ok?”
I gulped, immediately leaning away. “Fire away, then,’’ I told the person.
The person took out a bow, knelt down, and fired an arrow next to me. The arrow had thick rope tied to its end, which made me wonder how the arrow didn’t break from the thickness of the rope. “Climb the rope to get up here, lass,” the person told me.
I shimmied up the rope, climbing up carefully. Once I reached the top, I brushed myself off. “Thank you,’’ I said to the person.
The person walked over to me. She was a Shadow Thief, with short light-brown hair and two earrings in her right ear. She had a large stitch-pattern scar over her right eye, and she wore a long-sleeved shirt with a tall collar, a patch on the right elbow, and two black colored pockets. She wore a plaid skirt and tall pirate boots, and she had an arrow quiver slung over her shoulder. She held her bow, which had armor on it and small triangular spikes.
“My name is Nikita,” she said, “I’m a Shadow Thief musketeer. I’m about twenty years old, give or take, I can’t really remember all that much.” She looked me up and down. “So what might your name be, lass?”
I smoothed my waistcoat out. “My name is Alexandria Quinn, but my friends call me Alex. I’m here with my friends, and we need to go to Mylfor Castle, but Cassandra is a serious threat right now, so we’re grounded.”
Nikita frowned at Cassandra’s name. “She is being used as a pawn for the Mayor. The Mayor, Newhall, is a lot more dangerous than most would think. I have no clue what it is he wants, but whatever it is we Lumineers are going to put a stop to it. You’ll get to Mylfor soon, I promise on behalf of the Lumineers in Novice Order.”
I nodded. “We’re after the treasure of Akhra, but Cassandra and rogue Shadow Thieves are distracting us, keeping us from finding it. Do you think you might know why?”
“I know exactly why,” she whispered. “It’s the Stormbringer Orb that they are after. Come with me, I’ll explain.”
I followed her back over to the hatch and down the stairs into the third floor. We sat outside Captain Prismhawk’s office, and Nikita turned to me.
“The Stormbringer Orb,” she explained, “Belonged to Grimm Newhall. Grimm received it in a dream, claiming that Whistletone gave it to him. He found it on his bedside table in the morning. He didn’t trust his son with the orb, so he had his son Newhall go to Mylfor Castle while he spent the rest of his life in seclusion, studying the orb and watching it. Much of his artwork was inspired by it, and many people thought he was too involved with the object. He didn’t care; and eventually that got him killed as he set out during the night of the fog.”
“Wow,” I breathed. “What happened after that?”
Nikita cleared her throat. “His son returned back to Clear Sky. He did not know about the map piece, but he found out about his father’s secret obsession with the orb. He took it with him back to Mylfor Castle, where he stored it in the castle’s heart. By doing that, he somehow brought the castle to life, and the Shadow Thieves living there started to obey him. He used their trance-like state to his advantage and called himself The Mayor. The castle wasn’t really alive, but it was filled with some sort of magic. The Mayor wasn’t pure of heart, and therefore, the magic transformed him into an evil creature.”
“Can he change back and forth between a human and a monster?” I asked.
“Yes, just like us Shadow Thieves,” Nikita replied with a yawn. “But also like us, his true form can never be hidden, not for long, at least.”
She looked up at the clock on the wall. “Hmm, 10:00, I best be on my way, since I’m a member of the blockade.” She faced me, looking me in the eye. “It was an absolute pleasure meeting you,” she told me with a smile. With that, she got up and walked away. I waved to her, and she waved back, until she was completely out of sight.
I shifted in my seat and heard the door open to my right. I turned to see Victor, Paolina, Serena, and Marcus walk out of the office. Serena thanked Captain Prismhawk for his time and conversation, and then shut the door. She turned her head and noticed me.
“Hello Alex, what are you doing here?” She asked me.
“Did you need to speak with the captain?” Victor offered, about to open the door.
“No, I’m fine,” I assured them. “I was talking with Nikita outside the office. She’s actually really nice.”
“So, she came back from her mission, huh?” Paolina said with a smirk. “Where did she go?”
“To the blockade,” I told Paolina. “That’s where she normally is. Anyway, she told me a legend.”
“Oh, mind if you will explain it to us?” Marcus asked.
And I did just that. I told them about the Stormbringer Orb, and that it was the cause of Grimm’s death. I explained to them how it brought the castle to life, and the castle corrupted the minds of the Shadow Thieves and the Mayor himself. I also told them what it did to the Mayor, and where the orb rests currently to this day.
The others seemed amazed. “That’s quite a tale,” Serena commented.
“This Stormbringer Orb seems like a danger to those who are not pure of heart,” Marcus claimed. “Why would Whistletone give the object to Grimm if it would only cause destruction to him and his son?”
“Grimm was pure of heart,” Captain Prismhawk said, stepping into the hallway. “I could hear the conversation from inside my office. By the way, you left your vermillion dragon inside.”
Luxor flew out of the office with a happy growl. Captain went to close the door, but Marcus put his hand on Captain’s shoulder. “Wait a second, Luther. What are you talking about?”
Captain Prismhawk cleared his throat. “Grimm was never corrupted by the power of the storms that the Stormbringer Orb could create. He spent too much of his time with the object; he still had a sane mind.”
Marcus took his hand away. “My apologies if I startled you, Captain. I wanted to know…”
“…On behalf of the Lumineers, I know Marcus,” Captain laughed. “Don’t be sorry, if anything, you are the captain. You taught me everything, and you chose me in your place. I honor you for your courage and bravery.”
There was a huge explosion outside, and a Lumineer raced past us, opened the hatch, and climbed to the top of the building. He left the hatch open, and we saw him pull a rope and ring the bell. The bell’s toll sounded like a low, deep siren. Its cry echoed throughout the fort of Novice Order. Captain Prismhawk’s face grew worried, terrified even. He rushed to the hatch and joined the Lumineer.
“Captain…,” the Lumineer panted, “Cassandra…she’s attacking Novice Order. Y-You have to lead us, Captain, we…we’re in over our heads with this mess!”
Serena, Marcus, Victor, Paolina, Luxor and I joined the Captain’s side. “What’s going on, Captain?” Marcus asked.
Captain turned to us with a grim look on his face. “Cassandra is attacking us,” he barely mumbled. “We need to fight her, drive her and her men away from here, and maybe kill her if we must.”
I couldn’t hear much of what he had to say next, because before I could even realize what was happening, I collapsed to the ground, my entire body going rigid and numb.
“Alex...” I could barely hear Serena scream as my eyes slid shut. I tried to open my eyes, but I couldn’t, and my head was swimming with slurred visions of Victor and Marcus trying to help me up, until I eyes closed shut and I passed out.
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