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When Dreams Become Reality Part: 2
When Ashan awoke he discovered the man had built a fire and was heating something in a cast iron pot. Ashan looked around him, the once colourful and warm residence now seemed cold and empty, parts of the wooden wall missing and black scars from the fires marred every surface.
“What was that thing?” Ashan said to the man, indicating the blood-stained black cloak lying on the floor. “Who are you?’
“Patience, eat first, then we will talk,” replied the man.
When Ashan finished eating he looked up at the man who was staring past him at the destruction that was once the village.
“It was always a peaceful place,” Ashan mumbled to himself
The man stirred, his gaze shifting to Ashan, his eyes were full of sorrow.
“Even the most innocent villages aren’t spared by The Blight” the man said, “I am Arkesh, Paladin of The Gold Dragon, we are sworn to find and destroy the blight, that creature you saw before was a Shade, they are servants skilled in sorcery and they are extremely agile. They haunt people’s dreams before they invade a true creature of nightmare. Shades only appear after the main invasion. Since the only corpses are human that means the main invasion force can’t be far, can you handle a sword boy?”
“I....I... no, but why have I never heard of these beasts before, where are they from?”
“No one knows the origin of the blight but some believe it is just a physical incarnation of evil.”
“What will I do?”
“I do not know your path young one but I must find the main invasion force before they find another village.”
“Please take me with you, teach me to fight, I will have my vengeance.”
“Very well, let us leave in an hour, I’m going to find supplies.”
And with that Arkesh rose and left Ashan alone by the fire. Ashan stared into the depths of the flames. With a sigh he rose and left the building, glancing back at the twisted corpse of the shade.
The burnt earth crunched beneath his feet, he caught his breath as he looked around at the carnage around him. Tears blurred his vision as he saw the body of a young village woman, Christine, still holding her newborn Alvin’s body in death. She had died protecting him, and in the end her sacrifice was in vain. Every corpse he saw brought back memories, he had known all these people and now they were just gone. Once busy and thriving little streets that connected the village now lay still, dust whirling was the only movement in miles.
Ashan startled as a hand gripped his shoulder. Ashan spun around to face Arkesh, who was carrying a loaf of bread and flint and tinder.
“Let’s not spend any more time here then we have to, we leave when you’re ready,” Arkesh informed him. And with that he moved back to the building and began to pack his scavenged goods into a leather pack. Without a word they set off into the blazing sun, leaving the slaughter behind them, not looking back.