The forest of darkness was an unsettling area to be, especially by yourself. The trees were extraordinarily tall reaching heights of forty to fifty feet and bore blackened bark and leaves. Once entered, you would notice a grey tint would blanket over everything and the ground looked absent of any nourishment. Many innocent travelers had lost their lives due to the labyrinth of unidentifiable surroundings or even more gruesomely, to the creatures that reside in the woods. There was always a constant unsettling sound to be heard to toy with anyone’s fears, but never to be mistaken for wind for the wind would never blow through the forest of darkness unless a storm had begun. While the requirements to obtain the armor were being met, deep within the forest of darkness wicked entities plotted against the success of Christian’s first adventure.
Inside the dark forest by a mysterious river that lead to nowhere, the green haired demon Naga repaired the clothing that had been singed in her battle against the royal mystic. She stitched stings to tighten gaps in her garment, until she became distracted by a snapping sound which resonated behind her. She stopped what she was doing and looked around the area while staying seated. A feeling of nervousness began to surge through her once more crackling branches were stepped on by a nearing creature.
“Preddy gurl.” was muttered by a strong uneducated voice. Naga looked in the direction of the voice. She stood up quickly at the sight of three large hulking ogres. If memory served Naga correctly, ogres were dimwitted, slow, yet freakishly strong creatures that only lived in the north. The green haired demon had an ogre on each side of her with her back to the river. They stood to be ten feet tall and each carried a large broken part of a tree as a club. The ogre with the largest tree limb seemed to be the leader. “Hee hee hee, yur preddy. Preddy gurl always most delicious to eat.”
A tiny spider crawled over a dead leaf on the ground as Naga braced herself for yet another fight. “Why don’t you get outta here while you still can, huh? I just finished fighting with somebody else and I’d kind’a like a moment to myself thanks!” she snapped at them with anger.
Each ogre took another step closer to the demon girl. Their feet were masked by the thick fog that lay atop the dead ground. The ogre’s readied their weapons to beat Naga with until a much deeper more frightening voice filled the forest around them. “Gawh, Gawh, Gawh.” it bellowed in wicked laughter. “So, you ogre’s have chosen to eat my baby sister?!”
“Big brother?” Naga stated surprised. She had not known he was so near.
The ogres looked around the location to find the origin of the menacing voice, but saw no-one. Suddenly one of the large monsters began the beat the ground underneath its feet. The other two looked on, curious by its behavior. After a moment it was all too clear and they understood completely. All three ogres began stomping about and flailing their arms trying to remove the massive swarm or insects that covered their entire bodies! All manner of bugs crawled inside their eyes, nose, mouth, and ears while other insects started consuming the giant beast’s flesh. Within seconds the three ogres had fallen to the ground dead and now a feast for the bugs. Naga hesitantly walked closer to the massive demon whos body was shrouded in darkness by the forest. She crushed a few bugs to make her way over there, yet none of the insects reacted negatively towards her.
“I, thought I was supposed to meet up with you and the master?” she reminded looking upward to her over-towering brother’s face masked by the shadows of the forest.
“Change in plans.” he bellowed.
Naga walked by her older brother into the darkness whos steps forced the ground to quake with each step. After thirty minutes of eating, the bugs abandoned the skeletons of what used to be three massive ogres and returned to Naga’s mysterious older brother.
In the royal convoy Raziel was on his cell phone with general Grechov filling him in on all that’s transpired since they’ve separated. Meanwhile Wade sat in a seat near Christian and updated his internet status through his own cell phone. Christian slightly leaned to Wade and looked through the corner of his eyes to see what he was doing. Christian was trying to be unnoticeable since he didn’t want to invade the new guys space, plus he didn’t like people to know he was so nosey. Despite the young prince’s efforts to be slick Wade was still aware what he was doing.
“Updating my status, you got one’a these?” Wade explained smiling and starting a friendly chat.
“Oh? No, I don’t have any of those social site pages and blogs and stuff.”
“What? You’re a prince dude, you’d totally be like the most freak’n popular guy on the whole site.” Wade explained. Honestly, he was a bit surprised the prince didn’t have a website like most teenagers.
“What’ya put?” Christian inquired about his status. Wade showed the prince his cell phone, handing it to him, and on the screen it stated: “Things got hot @ the club, but I’m still chill’n lika boss! :3” Christian smiled, finding it amusing. “Ha ha. Hey, what do ya mean, like a boss?” he asked wondering about this new slang.
Wade was a bit amazed how out of touch Christian seemed to be with his own generation. “Lik’a boss. It’s like another term for badass. Oh!” he chuckled catching his own words.
“Huh?” Christian asked, wondering what he missed.
“I forgot, I’m not supposed to cuss around you. It’s one of my rules.” Wade informed slightly laughing off his mistake.
The brown eyed prince was confused now, “One of your rules? What do ya mean?”
Wade pointed at Raziel who sat in front of them, “Big guy up there said there were only two rules for me to come along. Number one was to watch my language around you. Second was not to discuss work with you.”
“Oh? Why what do you do?” the prince asked lowering his voice.
Smith laughed, “You testing me?” The spikey haired youth was trying to hold back his charming smile, “How can I put this without getting papa bear upset?” he wondered. “Ah, okay. Let’s just say, I work with a lot of chicks.” he answered without giving a straight answer. “I bet the babes are after you all the time, huh?” he asked wondering about the prince’s social life.
The prince blushed, honestly, since he mainly was cooped up in the castle for his own safety he had little to no activity with another girl except Carmon. “Not really.” he laughed off embarrassed by the question.
“What? Are you serious? You’re a rich prince and you’re not ugly, that makes no sense. Look, later tonight, me and you, we’re making you one of these.” he said indicating the website page on his cell phone as he took it back from the prince.
Christian nodded his head, “Okay, but I was wonder’n. What’s this mean?” he asked pointing at the end of Wade’s text.
“Wha?” Wade had become increasingly disappointed in the prince’s lack of text knowledge. “That’s a cute little smiley face.” he revealed referring to the “:3” in his status update. Smith tilted the phone slightly, “See?”
The prince smiled once he noticed the cute smiling face within the text message, “Oh, I see it now!” he chuckled.
Wade closed his phone and put it back inside his pocket. He stretched his legs out and had rest his arms on the back of the seats beside him, making himself feel right at home. He looked around at everyone else in the terrain dosser, “Looks like we’re just pick’n up people from the bus stop.” he joked. “Who are these other people?” he asked the prince. Christian loved when people would look to him for answers, it made him feel more involved.
The prince smiled, “Okay, that guy that’s asleep with the long black hair, he’s Seth. He’s a detective and stuff. And that guy in the back with the really dark purple hair, that’s Wraith.”
“Why is he in cuffs?” Wade asked.
“Oh, Raziel just got him outta prison, but he left him cuffed cause I don’t think he really trusts him very much.”
“What was he in prison for?”
Christian thought for a moment to himself, “I’m don’t remember, I don’t think he told me, but it must a been pretty bad cause he was in there for like, a year and half I think he said. And that guy with the cool silvery hair is Vincent, he doesn’t like talking to people. Come to think of it, I think he just doesn’t like people.” Christian immediately switched to talking about someone else after seeing Vincent hear his name and look at Wade and the prince angrily. It was true Vincent didn’t care for anyone nor to talk to anybody and he certainly didn’t like other people talking about him.
“And who’s the babe you were dancing with over there?” he questioned referring to Carmon who was isolating herself from everyone by listening to her downloaded music with her earphones.
“Oh! That’s Carmon, she’s actually the grand duke’s daughter.”
Wade inspected Carmon’s body from a distance and thought she was cute, “Is she seeing anybody?”
The friendly conversation quickly went into panic mode as Christian realized Wade was becoming interested in Carmon! He was already concerned with competing against Wraith’s “bad boy” appeal, but now he had to compete against Wade’s smooth talk and good looks? The flustered prince quickly created a defense, “Well, she uh. She’s talking to somebody right now, so it’s probably too late.” He began sweating on his forehead just a bit.
“Ah okay, it’s never too late to make a move, especially if it’s just talking. Ya know, I saw you dancing with her back at the Golden Ticket, I figured you were making a move on her. You like her?” Wade chuckled as he prodded with his “players” intuition.
Christian gasped a little since he was caught off guard by the question, “Well um, I just, known her a long time. That’s all.” The prince defaulted to a safe answer, he wasn’t yet comfortable explaining his feelings for Carmon to others.
“That’s all I needed to know.” he said smiling and slicking his spikey hair back. He checked himself for bad breath by taking a whiff of his exhaled breath in his hand. He smelled the alluring cologne he put on after cleaning himself up from the fire attack. “Alright buddy, sit back and watch and I’ll show you how to always pick up the chick.” Wade informed the prince with confidence. The playboy started to stand up until Christian freaked out.
“Wait! Um, hold on!” the prince tried plotting a good reason why the wealthy womanizer shouldn’t approach Carmon, but failed to think of a good reason.
Wade stayed seated and leaned inward towards the prince, he had a big charming smile and a pleased look upon his face because people could lie to Wade, but never about girls. “Wait, ugh, um, ugh?!” he quietly teased. “You don’t want me to talk to her cause you don’t want me to “get” her. And ya don’t want me ta “get” her cause you like her.” he chuckled poking the prince in the chest as he unveiled his secret. “I’m right, huh?” he asked cockily leaning comfortably in his seat close to Christian.
The prince didn’t have any explanation for why Wade shouldn’t talk to Carmon and he knew he was prepared to flirt with her. He felt cornered, nervous, and sweaty. He leaned closer to Wade and answered in a soft and quiet voice, “Yeah.” After he told Wade he felt much better, as if a boulder had been removed from off his shoulders. The prince grinned, he had held on to this secret for so long because he had been scared of everyone’s reaction to discovering, especially Carmon and Raziel’s.
Wade patted Christian on the back, “See, that wasn’t so hard was it?”
“I, I guess not, but how could you tell?” the prince wondered.
“I just have a knack for these things.” Wade boasted. “Hey, where’s that old guy with the ugly hat?” he asked looking at the empty seats.
“You mean the royal mystic? He’s in another one of the terrain dosser’s, Raziel said he wasn’t feeling well so he rode in one of the other ones so he wouldn’t get everyone else sick or something.” Christian answered giving him the exact reply the grand duke gave the prince when he asked of the mystic’s whereabouts.
“Oh great.” Wade replied in a monotone voice as he recalled the mystic spitting on him when he talked at the club. He predicted he would most likely get sick like the mystic in this case.
The terrain dosser slowly came to a halt in front of a large cemetery. Its passengers looked outside the side window, curious why their next stop was a cemetery, including the grand duke. “Why have we stopped?” he questioned.
“This is the address the royal mystic gave us for Rufus Navarro, sir.” the soldier behind the wheel answered.
“Wha? Well this can’t be right.” Raziel replied. He stood up and walked over to see the soldier’s list of instructions and destinations to look for himself. After seeing that the destination was correct the grand duke stood pondering for a moment, he wondered if the cemetery was another location for another planned stunt like at Wade’s night club.
Raziel placed his hand under his chin for a moment then handed the paper back to the driver, “Wait here.” he instructed. The grand duke stepped outside the large vehicle and looked at the darkening sky. Was it because they were so much closer to the forest of darkness now or was it because the day grew longer? A few soldiers stepped from the trailing terrain dossers, the grand duke simply raised his hand and motioned to stop, indicating that he would travel this one alone once again. After walking around the machine, Raziel came up to a rusty cast iron gate. He pushed one of the sides of the gate open and walked through. The grey sky didn’t boost moral for the situation. Old tombstones and moist ground were all that were around, but he could see a building just down a faintly visible path.
“Did we stop to pay respects or what?” Wade asked.
“I don’t think so, but I’ll find out.” the prince responded standing up and exiting the vehicle.
“Hey, hold on there kid.” after the prince’s answer sank in, Wade tried stopping Christian, but was too late.
Christian stood outside the machine and stepped before the opened rusty gate to the cemetery. He looked at the background, nothing but moist muddy ground and old head stones. A mist seeped from the cemetery reaching no higher than the prince’s ankles. Christian strained his eyes and noticed a light and movement ahead, he figured it must be Raziel. The young naïve teenager hurried to catch up to the grand duke, splashing mud onto his shoes as he hastened his step. The air was cold and dead in the eerily quiet surroundings. Christian folded his arms together to keep warm a bit. He noticed that he had put a great deal of distance between himself and the terrain dossers now. In the corner of his eye he noticed a faint light fading away into the distance.
“Raziel?” he quietly called out, nervous something else might have heard him. The brown haired prince got a sudden chill and looked behind him.
“Hello?” he asked barely loud enough to hear himself. Christian was getting a bit paranoid being alone in such a creepy area. Christian saw a light gliding in the distance. It certainly wasn’t Raziel, its movements were not human. Whatever it was it was definitely gliding. The prince panicked and darted behind a head stone to secretly observe the eerie light.
The light started getting closer, yet it wasn’t coming at the prince. It seemed to float about aimlessly, without any since of direction. It moved about between the graves ominously. Within the illuminating light Christian noticed it was some kind of being without any legs or feet. Whatever it was it was extremely frail looking and its arms trailed behind it’s traveled direction. The prince was overcome with a haunting feeling in his stomach and gasped once the realized the being didn’t bare any type of facial features. Its head was in the shape of a human beings, but was void of any eyes, mouth, nose, or any manner of expression. The young boy feared he was witness to a ghost lurking the graveyard for something or someone!
He was stunned to see another appear completely identical to the first. The both of them didn’t seem to acknowledge the other and swiftly floated by the other. The prince would have been kicking himself for ever leaving the terrain dosser had he have not been so frightened. The prince noticed his shadow’s angle moving about on the head stone he was hiding behind. The wet muddy grass he crouched down in glimmered slightly. He swallowed and slowly but anxiously turned his head away from the specters he was spying upon to discover the reasoning. To Christian’s horror one of the faceless ghouls had drifted behind him, but unlike the others, this one appeared to have a goal in mind. The prince screamed in terror barely dodging its slender arms which tried grabbing him.
The prince’s yell gained the attention of the other illuminating beings causing them to change course and swarm towards him! The scared prince looked behind himself and saw several following now. He was running as fast he could, but they were still gaining on him. Unlike Christian, these beings were not getting winded nor tiring themselves in any way. These ominous creatures effortlessly glided above the ground and around the tombstones. One of the ghastly entities from across the other side of the cemetery cutoff Christian up ahead and caught him by surprise.
“Ahhh!” he screamed after a gasp.
The creatures arm extended and wrapped around the young boys. Christian flailed his arm about helplessly trying to free himself. He reared back and started yanking his arm away which caused the being to slam its lower half into a head stone. Its grip was weakened just enough for him to regain his freedom and dart off another direction. The brown haired teenager was mortified, what was he to do? Could anyone at the terrain dosser even see over the stone wall that separated them from the graveyard and witness what was going on through the darkness and fog? Christian hurried as quickly as he could, but lost his footing in his haste and made himself slip in the mud. In just a matter of seconds the heir to the throne was surrounded by the glowing beings. There must have been fifteen to twenty, each one of them gliding around the prince in a circle to assure he would not escape past them. Christian remained on the muddy moist ground uncertain which of the creatures to keep his eyes on. Suddenly all ceased and remained hovering around the prince in a circle. All of their faceless expressionless heads seemed focused on him. Before Christian, the beings moved away from each other creating an opening for someone to walk through. Between the thick darkness and glowing light Christian’s eyes could not focus to figure out the image that began to appear before him.
“You shouldn’t have be wander’n round out here.” an older voice warned. An older fellow holding a flashlight walked out from the circle of beings. The older man had thick glasses and no teeth. His hat was aged and didn’t match his overalls.
“He’s with me.” a familiar voice replied following behind the old man. Christian’s eyes widened at the sound of the protective voice. It was none other than Raziel.
“Raziel!” he exclaimed excitedly, leaping off the ground and slipping once more. He got back up again and latched on to the grand duke as his life depended on it. “I thought these things were gonna kill me!” he whined with a teary eye.
“Which is exactly why I’ve told you to always listen to what I tell you, always stay by my side, and never wander off. What would you have done had these things wanted to kill you?” the grand duke scolded.
Christian stood holding on to the grand duke without a response. “Hee hee, don’t cry kid. These are only preventhus, they not gonna kill ya but they’ll sure stop ya!” the old groundskeeper informed.
“Preventhus are magical creatures that weaken and absorb someone’s magic. That way they can prevent spell casting.” Raziel explained.
“I’ve heard of them, but I’ve never seen one.” Christian answered.
“We need them round here, make sure magic users don’t raise dead and bring people back. That sorta things popular magic with’em. Heck, we’ve even got castor stone walls s’round’n the whole cemetery! Ya didn’t notice?”
Christian shook his head, it was too dark to have noticed a detail like that. The prince was unaware of the precautions taken to keep public cemeteries safe and at peace.
“Go on, go on now!” the old man shoed the preventhus away. They dispersed into separate directions to begin keeping watch over the cemetery grounds again. “I guess I can take ya to meet my boy now that all the excitements over’n done with.”
“His son?” the prince was surprised.
“Rufus Navarro is his oldest son, and our last stop.” Raziel explained proudly.
“Wait, Seth, Wade, Vincent, um Cain, and Wraith are only five.” He counted his fingers as he named them off, “Rufus is only six, there’s supposed to be seven.” he said as if reminding the grand duke.
Raziel rest his hand on the prince’s shoulder, “Grechov has already found Kaz and we’ll meet up with him tomorrow. All we need to do now is get Rufus to come with us and we’ll be set.”
The grand duke felt a slight moment of relief that was quickly destroyed by the old man, “That’s gonna be a problem.”
Fifty-three feet away from where they stood, under a large willow tree, Raziel, Christian, and the old man stood before his son’s grave, lit up by the father’s flashlight. Raziel’s heart sank with the last of the seven chosen dead there was no possible way to accomplish their quest it would seem.
“A heart attack?!” the grand duke stated with a hint of disbelief. “No matter how many times I set out on a quest and find out they’re dead already. It always surprises me.” he sighed. The grand duke rubbed his forehead to try and contemplate his next course of action and to relieve some of the stressful disappointment from this latest discovery.
“Yep, I always told’em to lay off them fatty food.” The father stated shaking his head as if proving a point to his deceased son.
Christian lowered his shoulders. Disappointment was all over his face. His first adventure, of all adventures, was instantly destined for failure. Without being able to abide by the rules stated in the mysterious scroll the armor was unattainable. The prince noticed that Rufus Navarro had died 2 years ago, but the royal mystic’s magic called for Rufus less than a few days ago, was it possible the magic called for a different Rufus Navarro? “Hey! Wait a sec., this guy died like, two years ago but the mystic’s magic was only a few days ago! Maybe it meant a different Rufus?!” the prince proudly asked Raziel hopefully providing an answer for their dilemma.
“No, just cause he’s dead doesn’t mean he’s not the guy. Sometimes magic will point you in the right direction, even when that direction is a dead end.” Raziel informed. “Pardon the expression.” he said politely to the groundskeeper.
“Oh! It’s fine, I didn’t even catch it until you said otherwise.” the older man admitted. “Junior prolly would’a caught it though. He’s quicker wit then me.”
Raziel and Christian both questioned the older man simultaneously, “Junior?!”
“Well sure, my grandson. Rufus’ boy, he’s real slick.” The grandfather complimented.
Raziel placed his hands on his hip with an eyebrow raised, “This grandson of yours, he wouldn’t be Rufus Navarro junior by any chance, would he?” he questioned with a small glimmer of hope.
“Well yeah!” the grandfather replied, answering the grand duke like he asked a silly question.
“Oh, thank God!” he sighed with relief. “And where could we find him?” Raziel asked reluctantly hoping the grounds keeper would not refer them to yet another tombstone of a fallen family member.
“Well he lives right at the house at the end of the cemetery with me if ya wanna talk with’em.”
“I’d like that very much please.” Raziel responded politely. Raziel was minutely put off by the apparent cluelessness of the older man. Obviously “talking” to the man’s departed son would be of no help to them, and why not acknowledge the connection between the names? Was it mandatory to refer to Rufus junior as junior?! Was this too confusing for the old man? It was just unneeded additional stress the grand duke was annoyed by, but refused to let bother him any longer. He simply ignored that small moment of annoyance and gladly followed the grandfather to meet Rufus Jr.
The three of them wandered to the end of the cemetery while preventhus lurked around the area. Christian looked around at the surrounding area as best he could make out and was happy he did not live inside a graveyard. Maybe it was the chase with the preventhus, but even the atmosphere itself was enough to creep him out. As they made their way to meet the old man’s grandson, Raziel was called by one of the soldiers to verify his and the prince’s safety since visibility was poor. The call was quick, but the prince’s hasty actions did cause for the soldier to be reprimanded since he ran out without any protection. Christian felt guilty, but thankful Raziel was not angry with him.
The house behind the graveyard was a nice brick house, nothing too big nor too small. Beside the home was a dirty tool shed which most likely contained gardening tools and a lawn mower. The porch light was on, but not very bright. The grandfather unlocked the front door and went inside while Raziel and Christian followed behind him.
“Junior! You got company!” he hollered.
“I’m in my room!” Rufus responded loudly.
“Get OUT here!” he demanded.
“I’m in the middle of a GAME!” Rufus answered back aggressively.
“JUNIOR!” the old man shouted raising his blood pressure.
Raziel and Christian stood quietly and felt awkward for experiencing such a childish yelling match. The grandfather smiled at them in the silence. Footsteps were heard getting closer on the carpeted floor. A large hefty orange haired twenty-two year old walked from around the entrance of a long hallway focused completely on his cell phone.
“Junior put that blasted phone away!” the grandfather instructed.
Rufus rolled his eyes and finished sending his text message before putting his phone back in his pocket. He looked up lazily before realizing who was in his home. A huge smile and burst of excitement came over his face once he noticed the grand duke. “Oh my God, the grand duke?!” he spouted happily.
Rufus speedily walked over to the grand duke to shake his hand, Raziel smiled and was always pleased to meet a fan. “I’m such a huge fan of yours. I heard all sorts a stories of yours all through-out high school. Did you really wrestle and kill a two headed bear? Oh! Wait, no! Did you REALLY slay the three siren sisters? I’ve heard four different versions of that story.” he asked with such enthusiasm.
“Dang it boy show some respect, that’s the grand duke and prince you’re talk’n to!” the grandfather scolded. Rufus rolled his eyes while not facing his elder.
Raziel grinned, “It’s fine, I get asked this sorta stuff all the time.”
Christian reached out and shook Rufus’ hand, “Hi! And he used an enchanted helmet.” the prince muttered to the fan boy.
Rufus smirked, “I heard that version.”
Christian stood proudly with a big grin on his face, “Yeah, Raziel’s told me all about his adventures. In fact, we’re on one right now.” he boasted.
Rufus stood with his mouth open in amazement, “You’re on another quest?” he asked his hero with a hint of excitement.
The grand duke had wished to approach the subject more subtly, but since Christian impatiently exposed the purpose of their visit, he figured it’d be best to just get to the point rather than try any negotiating tricks. “Well, that’s actually why we’ve come by to be honest. The kingdom’s royal mystic’s magic has foretold that your assistance is required on our next mission. So, we’ve decided to make you a financial offer if you’d like to come along. The only REAL question, is are you interested in joining me on our quest? If ya think about it, the next time somebody in your old high school tells a story about an epic adventure, it could very well be yours.” he said persuading the younger man with the promise of excitement and adventure.
Rufus stood before the grand duke in disbelief. He was torn between the idea if this was actually reality or just an awesome dream! Much like Christian, Rufus too had always had wild fantasies about being a one and only hero. The chosen one who can save the day where no-one else can. Being rich and famous from having exciting adventures, “Heck yeah, I’m in!” he responded without much thought.
“Wha? Now hold on jus’a minute there. You ain’t even thought this through. Jus tha other day you was want’n ta be a game designer, now ya wanna go off fight’n monsters? I mean, wha kind’a stuff we talk’n bout here? Ya didn’t even think ta ask!” the man’s grandpa objected.
Raziel stepped forward, “There’s no worries sir. I’ve come with a small troop of soldiers and will personally accept full responsibility for your grandson’s safety.”
“Your travel’n with soldiers so you expect’n danger! I’ve already lost a boy an I ain’t want’n to lose another one.” he fretted.
Rufus stood before his grandfather and looked him in the eyes, “Gran-dad look, I still wanna be a video game designer, but I’ve also always wanted to be on an exciting adventure and stuff. Ever since I was a little kid it’s always been something I’ve dreamed of, but I never thought the chance would come along for me. I’m not the strongest and I know I’m not the most athletic and stuff, but you know I’m smart and I’m not a weakling. This might be my one and only chance.” The grandson pleaded.
The grandfather looked away from his grandson and sighed deeply. He looked directly at Raziel, “Your promise?” he asked softly. With Raziel’s nod of the head the grandpa went against his gut feeling and chose to allow his grandson the chance to fulfill one of his childhood goals.
Rufus smiled happily and hugged the senior, “Thanks Gran-dad! Heck yeah! I’ll be right back!” the husky man darted off into his room.
Raziel shook the older man’s hand once again, “No need to worry.” he reassured.
Rufus had already returned with an overnight bag, “I’m ready.”
Everyone was stunned that he would have already packed everything he would need in such a very small amount of time. “You can’t possibly have all yur gonna need in that bag already.” the grandfather accused.
“Pfft, like I said, I’ve been ready for this since I was a little kid.” he replied proudly.
Christian took notice of Rufus’ preparation and was somewhat intimidated. He too had been dreaming of the day he could embark on his own adventure yet never had an emergency bag to leave at a moment’s notice. Was it possible that Rufus is a more dedicated adventurer than himself?
The grand duke and prince stood outside and watched Rufus and his grandfather talking to each other one last time before starting his quest. They talked for about five minutes, reminding Christian of when his journey started and how his father talked with him. The prince wondered what the two were saying, was it better than what his father told him? Maybe it was about a special family technique of some kind? The prince’s curiosity was taunting him.
The grand duke, prince, and Rufus were welcomed into the terrain dosser and all made their way closer to the forest of darkness.
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