Join Date: Jan 2006
"The Test" (Fantasy) Part 2
If you have not read Part 1 to my story you should read it before you read this part of the story.
“The gang has their wishes as well…”, the monk mysteriously said.
“So all we have to do is walk to the castle and give the king his wishes”, said Renin trying to look at the bright side of things.
“Its not that easy. The gang spreads news fast and some of the gang saw you run out of their bosses manor. They have your description down pretty well and there probably all over the district right now, hunting you. In fact, I think we should start heading to the palace right now”, the monk said as his head darted around looking at the door of the tavern. Renin turned his head as well and saw why. There were three gang members, distinguished by the three golden earrings on each of their ears, were glancing at them right now and starting to walk towards them.
“Follow me”, the monk quickly said to Renin as he jumped out of his chair and ran for a set of stairs. Renin jumped out of his chair and tailed behind the monk as they went up the stairs. The gang members were just behind them. The monk came to the end of the stairs and ran down a hallway then into a room. Renin ran in and the Veleenian shut the door behind him.
“Why didn’t you whack them up with your fists and feet?” Renin asked the monk, panting.
“I didn’t have the element of surprise it would be a lot riskier”, responded the monk, who didn’t even seem to be panting or tired. “Could you drag that chest over here.” The halfling ran over to the chest, and pushed his weight against it to come to a stop in front of the pounding door. The monk then ran over to the window and opened it.
“We will take my favourite path to the palace”, the monk said with a grin you would expect never to appear on that face, “over the rooftops”. The monk then leaped out of the window. Renin hurriedly ran over to the window and stumbled out onto the rooftop of the building next to the tavern. He saw the leaping figure of the monk ahead and with a sigh of frustration at what he had gotten into, started running and leaping from rooftop to rooftop.
The thief and the monk left the docks district and came into the royal district where all the nobles lived. The nobles never cared for what was really going on. They just started up their own wars and ended them. Pointless. There were peasants starving in the slums of the docks and gang wars.
When the monk and Renin jumped the wall into the royal district, the palace sprang into view, with spiral towers gleaming in the moonlight and gigantic shining domes, it was a sight that people came to see from all over the world.
As the monk and Renin neared the castle, Renin’s sharp eyes noticed in the night tendrils of dark smoke rising from within the castle walls.
“Do you see that?” Renin puffed as he squinted into the gloomy night at the castle, “the castle is under attack! There’s smoke rising from the castle!”
“We must make haste the king is in danger”, the monk said. There actually seemed to be surprise in the monk’s stony voice.
As the pair of leaping figures neared the castle, screams and the clang of swords could be heard within it.
Finally Renin and his companion neared the castle and stopped. Figures could be seen inside the castle walls fighting each other. Just as Renin was going to ask how to get there, the monk jumped down, running down the wall and came to a stop at the bottom. He then took a ladder from behind a pile of boxes and propped it against the side of the manor. Renin scrambled down the ladder.
“Okay, we got this far, but how do we get inside the castle?” Renin asked. In answer to Renin’s question, the kings agent moved a wooden crate and pried open a sewer lid underneath. He jumped down and Renin silently followed.
Surprisingly, the shouts from above could still be heard from the depths of the large sewer they had just descended into. Renin and the Veleenian started treading through the knee high water.
When Renin was just starting to think was it worth the risk doing this, he noticed a moving torchlight ahead by an opening in the roof of the sewers. The monk stopped in his tracks and pulled aside Renin into an alcove.
“Those are gang members ahead. They must have been coming from the sewers in the docks to the sewer opening within the palace walls. The gang must think the ring is here and are trying to make an attempt to seize take the ring back. You must get to the king with that ring and see if you can save him with a wish. He has no heir and the turmoil for the throne would cause civil war. I will distract them and you must sneak by”, the monk told Renin and then ran off towards the guards without a chance for Renin to have a say.
Renin started to creep forward as soon as he heard shouting and could see a dim shape doing a back flip combined with lethal kicks to the head. When Renin came up to the ladder the monk was fighting the gang members just a few metres away. Renin was able to make himself unnoticed when he wanted to; a trait you can find in someone who lives off of stealing money. When Renin scrambled up the ladder he heard the whiz of a crossbow bolt and saw the monk had taken a hit to the shoulder. The monk kept on fighting.
When Renin scrambled out of the sewers he jumped out of the way of a screaming figure running on fire. Renin then turned towards the towering palace and ran inside.
There was not much inside the castle except for burned carpets and elaborate carved tables. Most battles taking place in the halls Renin was able to sneak by but when he soon started to think if his life was worth the risk, a stray arrow flew by and tore his sleeve. Renin ducked and started crawling past that battle.
Renin finally found the throne room. The king was sitting on his throne with a huddle of Royal guards standing around him with shields raised, swords drawn and slashing at the confident pushing in around them. Renin stood there still taking in the situation but jumped in shock when a hand clasped his shoulder. He turned around flicking the knife from out of his sleeve to the man’s throat, who stood behind him. Renin drew back his hand immediately when he saw who it was. The dark skinned monk was standing there clutching the crossbow bolt protruding from his left shoulder.
“Save the king with a wish!” the monk shouted over the ringing of swords and shields. Renin immediately pronounced a wish.
“I wish for every gang member in this palace to be put into a two day sleep”, Renin announced. He stood there wondering if his wish worked when finally one by one, the gang members started to sink to the bloodied floor of the king’s throne room.
The remaining, all wounded guards stared in dibelief at what had happened but started heaping the gang members into piles.
The heavy breathing of a deep sleep came from the gang members being gathered as the king walked up to Renin. The king had grey hair and a face that looked just well—kingly.
“Oh, noble warrior,” spoke the king in a deep, musical voice as Renin laughed in his mind at what name he had been given by the king, “you saved me and this castle and you have brought me the ring.”
“Yes, your greatness”, Renin said trying to figure out what you were supposed to say to a king, “ but I used up two of your wishes.”
“It does not matter. This ring was a test and I am going to die of age soon. I was trying to find someone using my agent here who would deliver the ring and not run off in terror. You will be my heir to the throne.”
“But, your majesty, I am but a thief who has no honour. Why would you choose me as a king?”
“This is where you are wrong. First of all, you have great courage. This will do you well on the throne at hard times. Second of all, you just displayed honour. You find yourself not worthy of the throne and did not take the opportunity to become a wealth-ridden man by usurping the thrones capabilities and third of all, a halfling on the throne such as yourself will better unite the bonds between man and halfling. With luck it will stop civil war.”
Obviously, Renin accepted the king’s offer to be his heir. The king’s madness, which turned out to be because of his great concern to keep his country out of civil war, was gone now. Renin’s selfish character vanished immediately because of the responsibilities needed to care for the country. He was now a king true to his country.