Chapter One: Legends and Betrayals
Thoughtfully I ponder of what importance time and space would be if records can’t be kept, the knowledge of ages far past would have died and shrivelled in oblivion. Mortal Man and his likes are endowed with an ability that makes him superior to every other creature, the power of recall and this ability is fortunately the only advantage his Creator gave Man above Time and Space. Experience, History, Memory and whatever we call it are just aliases we give to this ability and because it existed, I was afforded the opportunity to learn of a legend that occurred over ten thousand years ago. My Father, King Bdollium of Zeclub was an astute scholar of legends and was one of the very few people living at his time to have read the Legend of Astore.
Over ten thousand years ago, there was a time in Rheudinia when the gods lived among us. Although they were given authority to lord over some parts of this World, they dealt peacefully with mortal man, increasing his knowlegde of the Universe and everything around him but as the centuries laved, man grew to believe his knowledge was superior to the god’s and began to defile them, passing strictures on them at every mishap and disaster. Quickly, atrocities piled upon atrocities and Mighty Aisuz could no longer bear to see them being tormented by the evil vile of mortal man. So Aisuz commanded that the gods should leave the surface of Rheudinia and return permanently to Sium, everyone of them and since it was an order from the Elder God himself, all the gods of Rheudinia had no option but to comply to his bidding or face his Consuming wrath but in spite of man’s persecution, some gods were reluctant to return to Sium and the most respected of them is Sylverine, the Great one.
To say the Great one wasn’t willing to comply with Mighty Aisuz’s directive isn’t completely true, though he was disobedient but he felt he had to set the land of Bathesdi, his domain in order before leaving it to the hands of his beautiful lover. It was great news in all Rheudinia when the dream god fell in love with one of the most beautiful women that ever walked the surface of our planet and perhaps one of the bravest too. The Great one fell in love with Zetura, daughter of Haimen, Isuz of the sun and Zodiac Eesuz of beautification and was just starting to enjoy the romance between them when the Creator gave his mighty decree. So one day he took Zetura on a trip, his last date with her to show her his domain of authority, stretching from his threshold far north of Zeclub to the east towards the Lands of Astore. They flew through the sky, both enjoying every moment of their last time together on the surface of Rheudinia until they soared towards the land of Astore.
Just some distance away from the Heart of Armat Isle, the dream god and Zetura noticed hundreds of Ships each parading a green flag with four golden stars imprinted on it.
“Mark of Nephria”, Princess Mozzarella interrupted.
“Yes, fleet of Nephrians making sail towards Astore and in those days, the Nephrians were very rebellious, not in any way like the peace loving people we know them to be now. Legends records that Nephria and Anan of Vestronoria were brothers and sons of a wizard whose name is lost through time and space, earlier records of the brothers and their father had not been found, it’s like they appeared in the books of history when they discovered and settled down in Bathesdi on an Island we now call the land of Nephria. Tales have it that Anan was a diligent and honest man who was blessed with good fortunes, so he grew wealthier and more prosperous than his brother who happen to be referred to has lazy and a bully that raided other lands and neighbouring Kingdoms. It didn’t take long before reports of Nephria’s perversity became unbearable for Anan and he had to confront his brother with a difficult option to either expiate or renounce his right to be called Anan the rich merchant’s brother.
“Father, we all know Nephria refused and the brothers parted ways peacefully”, the Zeclubian Suzia interrupted again, “That story just happen to be very popular”.
“They say the two brothers had not beheld each other again, not even in the land of the ghosts”, Sud added quickly, the Suz gave them a nod of acknowledgement and reclined into the comfort of his well cushioned seat of power.
“Since you both are well learned, I would like you to tell me the significance of the Anani symbol, the Red star and a trident beneath it”, the King asked and in a moment, serenity ruled at court, the Princess and Sud fell into speechless gazes, staring at each other utterly blank in thought.
“I won’t expect you to know anyway, I guess whosoever told you the Nephrian tale didn’t know either”, the Suz came to their rescue, saving them from a silence that was getting rather boring.
“When Anan confronted his brother with his choices, Nephria being the bully threw a tantrum, picked up a trident lying beside him and threw it at his brother”.
“What? He attacked his brother?” Sud didn’t know when the words jumped out of his mouth, his eyes widened but it was already out before he could regain his composure before the King.
“Yes, he did but Anan was quite lucky,” the Suz replied ignoring his waywardness. “The weapon missed him and ran into the mud wall behind tearing off the tip of his left ear. Stained with the fluid of life streaming down his ear, Anan made a vow never to come into visual distance of his brother and since that day, an Anani and Nephrian had never had things in common even to this very day except on one extremely important occasion when the whole of Rheudinia came together to battle but that’s a tale for another season, perhaps tomorrow but definitely not today.
In the Golden rays of Haimen’s splendour, the Great one soaring with his lover in the sky among the aves like he is engraved just behind me noticed fleet of Nephrian ships sailing towards a part of the land of Astore that inhabited a great wizard rumoured to be so evil that he was banished from the land of Kastebian by fairies but since he had not been caught in one of his deeds, he had been left totally not scrutinized. Immediately, the Dream god changed course and soared towards the southern part of the lands of Astore where the Wizard known in the Bathesdi tongue as ‘Galliza’ had a large fortress.
Some distance away from Galliza’s fortress, Bathesdi’s most respected Isuz took to shore and walked toward the fortress’s heavily guarded portcullis, Zetura by his side expecting a welcome convoy to accost them. They had not gone more than six strides before there was great trembling of the ground beneath them, like the planet was ripping away from beneath their feet, an Earthquake.
“Galliza has dishonoured our visit, dearest one”, Zetura spoke with sparks of anger in her eyes as she tried to gain her balance during the trembling caused by the earthquake but he that stood by her side was just smiling.
“I don’t want to believe Galliza would be so foolish to commit such an abomination.” he replied as he stretched his hands to take a hold of Zetura’s waist and took into flight. Just as they ascended off the shore, the ground beneath them tore open like a piece of linen torn in the middle and sand poured swiftly into the opening which glowed red with Molten magma flowing deep within it. The Earthquake was weird, it seem to move round the fortress creating a large depression in the middle of the island. Soaring high over the quirk quake and the fortress gates, the Dream god and Zetura could observe everything in their surrounding; they could see vividly the look of surprise and uncertainty in the faces of the guards at the gates. Swiftly they flew towards the largest tower in the fortress, the only tower with a balcony at the top of the building.
“Galliza, Come forth!”, He ordered in a deep voice which is quite unusual of the god towards the green silky curtains covering the entrance to the topmost part of the tower as he landed on the balcony with the daughter of the Sun god intimately by his side
“Perhaps he is quite busy, let me pay him.....”, Zetura manage to say before something quick and bright originating from within the tower hit and sent her off the balcony, and just has she fell, the dream god heard loud feminine jeers from within Galliza’s tower and in that instance, his eyebrows rose, for a split second he thought he imagined what he heard but the jeering continued and he was assured he wasn’t imagining things, it was obvious he knew the voice and wasn’t expecting whoever laughed to be in Astore at that moment.
“Isshura”, He said in a whisper before he his godly mind switched towards Zetura who was still falling in mid air and immediately he jumped off the tower to rescue her.
Zetura was just about to crash into the sand at the foot of Galliza’s tower when the Great one caught her, at that moment she looked so beautiful with her eyes tightly closed in his arms as he floated downwards.
“You are safe dear, you can open those beautiful eyes now”, he said as he touched ground with her in his arms, just as he let her down to her feet, he noticed she had a bleeding cut on her left arm, perhaps where the strike hit her.
“Do not heal the wound yet, dearest one,” she begged as the dream god put a hand to the surface of the injury, “because that wizard is going to pay for every drop of blood.” and she really was determined to make him pay, without delay she turned towards the door at the foot of the tower.
From the time that the foundation of Rheudinia was laid in the vast wastefulness of the Universe, there had never been a female hunter more brave than Zetura, the Sun god’s daughter, she was well famous for the capture of precarious creatures which she was quite successful at, with or without the help of Haimen her father. She hunted and captured creatures that were of havoc to mortal man from different parts of Rheudinia, even creatures as powerful as Crusto Nari, a descendant of Nehustan the snake god fell to her skills and I would believe that is inarguably her greatest achievement but this wizard Galliza wasn’t just a creature but a master of magic, a wizard from birth who mastered the art of sorcery from the greatest wizard teacher ever known, Biu the Great and rumours had it that he was one of the best in the art. Though Zetura was brave and sufficiently skilled in the ways of the sword but what grace do sharp edge metals possess against the highest level of sorcery.
Just has she was about to break free of her lover’s grasp, they heard movements, mortals hurrying towards them from all directions and in the wink of an eye, the dream god and Zetura were completely besieged by a large army of swordsmen and archers; if he was mortal, the chances of escape was almost impossible.
“So do you now believe that wizard disrespects us?” Zetura asked looking up into her lover’s eyes, “What’s our plan?”
“Plan?” he asked, his eyes widening and she gave an innocent nod in response.
“It’s not your fight dear; I would never want harm to come to you. Let me transport you to a safe place, this fight seem more dangerous than you think”, He muttered softly to her and she smiled, she could sense nothing more than care in his words.
“Oh! Sweet of you but it’s just a fight, dearest one and am not leaving this undone, I never have”, the determination in her eyes was mixed the confidence in her skills and there was nothing he could do to persuade her from fighting.
“I do not see any good coming out of this”, he replied as his finger moved to remove a strand of brunette hair so he could look down into her charming brown eyes and smiles filled his glance making it glisten like the sun upon the waters of ponchrious but the sound of the voice he heard in Galliza’s chambers kept ringing at the back of his mind and there was something else attached to it, something we would never find out. Zetura smiled back and immediately wiped out her battle companions, two beautifully crafted daggers made of Sun matter, a gift from her father the Sun god.
“Let’s do this”,
Immediately, the dream god broke free from her and floated slowly upwards towards the balcony of the tower, he took one last gaze at Zetura as she stood alert waiting for the first soldier to attack and smiled, instantly, the sea colour disappeared from his eyes and it began to glow with bright blinding white lights.
“Esek! Attack!” a voice ordered loud enough for everyone to hear and in response, the archers in the army and several hidden in the towers of the fortress shot arrows towards the dream god all at the same time while the others charged at Zetura who was quite prepared for them. Like a swarm of locusts, the arrows flew towards the Isuz from all directions, more like a raging wave of metals.
“Fools!” he said in a whisper to himself and folded his arms to his chest, his face still glowing with smiles, the lights in his eyes seem to spark like little bolts of lightning.
Just a little distance away from the dream god, the arrows suddenly stopped moving, it looked like they were paused in mid air. Then slowly they began to glow red hot and formed a large red fiery ball around the Isuz, a spectacular sight to behold. Instantly, the fighting stopped and several of the soldiers began to retreat into the safety of the tower at the sight of the fiery ball while others stood petrified, faces raised and mouth ajar at the magic displayed before their mortal eyes, it was quite obvious they had never seen anything like it.
Suddenly there rang a loud high pitched feminine laughter, the same voice that the dream god heard emerging from within Galliza’s chamber, now he was assured whoever made the sound was watching humorous the events that were happening at that moment, this thought made the sparks from his eyes more visible and consistent, his gesture of rage.
“Gesture of rage? But Father, I was made to believe in those boring temple classes that the dream god never gets angry”, the princess interrupted once again.
“Oh Mozzarella!” the King sighs and moves to sit upright.
“I was just about getting to that Suzia, the great one does not get angry like we do and even when he is angry, he has complete control of his emotions. When he is angry, he smiles more than usual, the deeper the wrath, the more charming the smile but he continually emits little sparks of white light from his eyes and legends have it that no one had seen the sparks of his wrath and lived. There at the fortress of Galliza, the dream god was in one of his darkest wrath because the voice he heard was that of a goddess you could describe as his arch enemy”, the king explained but with the look on the princess’s face she wasn’t quite satisfied with the explanation but before she could say anything, he continued his tale.
“Suddenly, the dream god’s eyes found its sea-colour again, at that moment he spread his hands sideways and sent the flaming weapons back to where they originated from, each arrow flying back in the opposite direction away from the Isuz and in moments it was all mayhem in Galliza’s fortress. Magically, the arrows sorted after the archer that fired it, they went through anything that stood in their path until they burn through the cardiac of the archers. Again the great one’s gaze fell towards Zetura and like he expected, she was doing excellently. The part of the army that escaped the flaming arrows fell to her malignant daggers, she was indeed an expert with the sword as she acrobatically manoeuvres her assailants’ strikes and plunge her weapons into their bodies, it was such delight to watch her battle.
Now the dream god was certain she was doing great and he needn’t worry about her but still he couldn’t waiver the premonition in his head, he had to make himself believe that she was sufficiently capable to look after herself and with a little difficulty he did. So he set his mind on other matters, the wizard and perhaps she that laughed from within the curtains, Isshura the Eesuz.
“I would want to believe that you both know who Isshura is, don’t you?” the Suz asked rolling his aged eyes between the youths before him.
“Yes we do your majesty”, Sud responded as the Suzia gave an acknowledging nod, the King smiled and wondered within himself what he knew about the goddess when he first learnt of the story about a century ago, well he knew quite a lot of the goddess’s tale, especially her transcending from a good wife to an evil goddess feared all over Rheudinia but even with that, he was still quite naive.
“Good, so she needs no introduction,” he said and continued with his story.
Just as the dream god landed back on the balcony of Galliza’s tower, he fell into a trance. Now the trance is a phenomenon invented by the dream god himself, it’s like dreaming without actually sleeping and it’s believed that mortals with pure hearts can also exhibit such awesome magic. During the process of the trance, the spirit leaves its mortal cage and moves without inhibition to wherever it pleases as long as it is within the realm of Rheudinia, this is the reason some cultures in the north call it “the spirit walk”. The purity of the heart creates the separation between the spirit and the soul and exactly at the time this occurs, the eyes which is believed to be the path to the soul where the spirit resides glows with blinding white light and stays this way until the spirit returns to its usual place, this makes a trance both an awesome and fearsome spectacle to behold.
The great one’s trance was the first and only wrong move he made at Galliza’s fortress, before he could complete the separation of his spirit and body; he was hit by a strange red spark of lightning emanating from within the tower. The spark struck him in the middle of the chest and sent him off the balcony just like it did to Zetura but this strike was so powerful that it flung him faraway towards the entrance to the fortress.
“Sylverine!” he heard a voice call out to him but he couldn’t recognise it because it sounded like it came from somewhere very distant and this was the last thing he heard before everything he perceived began dark and serene, he passed out.
“The great one fainted? So you want us to believe Isuz faint too” Princess Mozzarella asked with a raised brow, exchanging gazes between the Suz and Sud who looked quite surprised himself.
“Of course, they are just like us. Isuz faint but they rarely do, the dream god fainted because his spirit and body was being separated at the moment he was struck and the strike caused an imbalance forcing his spirit out, so he needed some time to balance the beings in his immortal body.
After what seemed like just a few moments, he opened his eyes to find he was surrounded by the darkness of day’s silent brother, at first he thought he was hovering unconsciously in mid air but when he raised his gaze up to the dark sky and could see sketchily the outline of a pole high above and a rope hanging down towards him, he knew he had been captured and tied up. Instantly, his skin began to glow with reddish hue, he was completely mad with wrath at the sight before him but before he could make up his mind to do anything vengeful, the thought of Zetura filled his mind like a river and washed away his wrath. Like a cold breathe the voice he heard before he fainted blew across his auditory and he could now recognise it, it was Zetura’s
“She has to be somewhere around, perhaps captured too.” he thought and closed his eyes like he could see her within his mind.
“He is awake!” a voice shouted incessantly followed by the sound of a gong, this startled the Isuz from his romantic reverie and before he could wink, he was surrounded by several mortals with flaming torches raised towards him, some were lower while others nearly burnt his feet with it. At that moment he fell into another trance, his sight was quickly replaced with blinding lights as his spirit made way from his body and this time the process was quite successful.
Quickly his spirit floated down to the foot of the pole and to its bewilderment, it found Zetura’s spirit lying like it was injured there. Zetura’s spirit raised its hand towards the dream god’s and as the two came into contact; the days went fast by, more like they went back in time. Day and night rolled backwards over and over, then it stopped. Now the pole had disappeared with the mortals around it, the spirits were back in front of Galliza’s fortress. Suddenly the great one’s body flew through air and landed just some distance away from the entrance to the fortress as Zetura screamed his name from where she stood in front of a soldier who had her daggers in his chest. Quickly she made her way to the dream god’s body tears streaming down her fair cheeks and he just laid there totally unconscious. It was completely strange for the spirit to see that scene or maybe it was just so embarrassing to see an Isuz lying harmlessly on the sand because it turned its face away. Almost immediately, the clouds grew dark and something like a large ball of lightning came down from the tower towards them, deafening laughter shook through the fortress as the spark hit the sand. The spark disappeared leaving a tall slim red hair woman on the spot it did, she burst into laughter as she appeared shaking the foundation of the fortress with it, instantly all the soldiers in the fortress went bowing down to the ground. Zetura didn’t seem the least surprised at the appearance of the red haired woman, slowly she turned her face towards her, tears burning upon it and you could feel hot air rising out of her lungs through her nostrils and gritted teeth.
“Oh! Aren’t you both adorable?” she mocked and gave out another of her maniac laughs, solemnly Zetura moved away from her lover’s unconscious body brandishing her daggers as she did, now she was looking quite murderous with her brunette hair running down her face and hiding her blood-shot eyes.
“Isshura” she said beneath her loud heavy breaths clutching to her weapon so tightly that her heartbeat could be heard hammering against the hilt of the daggers.
“I guess Haimen and Zodiac didn’t install good manners into you dear girl or perhaps that wish fool had given you a little of his mystical courage” Isshura mocked again laughing loudly. At that moment, Zetura charged at the goddess, she couldn’t take anymore of Isshura’s mockery. She threw one of her daggers at the goddess, who although looked like she was caught unaware dodged away from the weapon easily and just as she did, she sent a bolt of lightning back at Zetura. Zetura dodged the strike bending backwards acrobatically, a reflex which seem difficult but she did excellently. Unfortunately for Isshura, Zetura’s dagger was a boomerang; it came back and hit her in the cheek leaving a deep cut in her slim face as it did.
“You are not untouchable Isshura, your place is with the creatures in the pits of traore” Zetura said grimly as she caught her weapon still kneeling in the sand. For a while, Isshura stood motionless with one hand upon her bleeding face wound, she was completely taken aback by Zetura’s skill.
“Quite impressive Zet but you just killed the fun in our little girls club” she said with a wicked smile across her face and raised her right hand up towards the dark sky, suddenly a bolt of red lightning descended towards her hand and when the bolt disappeared, a golden structure shaped like a massive horn appeared. At that moment, the atmosphere around the women grew red hot from a mixture of fury and madness.
“Let’s play” Zetura snarled.
Immediately they charged at each other, magic against the way of the sword and none had an advantage. They seem both good at dodging and counter attacking but each time it seem like Zetura was going to get the best of the Eesuz, she would levitate any soldier around her into Zetura’s path or split into two making a perfect duplicate of herself, pure magic. The battle went fast before the spirits until the moment when Isshura sent three bolts of lightning at Zetura and she blocked two of the balls with her daggers but was hit in the chest by the third, with a scream the daughter of the sun god rolled uncontrollably through the sand. She was badly hurt with blood spurting out of her chest, her face completely bruised and most of her hair had gone from brown to deep red.
“Did you think you could outwit me with those bloody toys of yours” Isshura asked and laughed maniacally as she advanced towards her adversary’s wounded frame, she also had several cuts on her arms and slim back “Am not Crusto Nari my dear and you’ll just have to learn your place” she continued with a snarl as she stretched the golden horn at Zetura. A huge bolt of lightning was sent from Isshura’s horn at Zetura as she continued her maniac laughter, at that moment the dream god’s spirit turned it face away, it couldn’t stand seeing Zetura being murdered. Suddenly the contact between the two spirits broke and everything turned as dark as uncertainty, there was no more towers and sand and torches, even Zetura’s spirit had vanished. Then it could see very blinding lights shining from the distance like a beam towards the great one’s spirit, the intensity of the light was so strong that it penetrated the spirit’s eyelid when it tried to close and hide it away.
“Sylverine would take responsibility for Zetura’s death, he won’t escape the punishment for his disobedience” a voice co-existing with deafening thunderstorms rang through space, each word sounded like a lightning struck against the dream god’s spirit and immediately after that, it withdrew back with the speed of light into his body and the trance was completed. Though he got to understand that Zetura was dead and Mighty Aisuz blamed her death on his disobedience to the decree but still his face blanched and his wrath subsided. For a while he thought of all he saw in his trance and sighed, simultaneously the ropes tying him to the pole undid itself on its own accord and as he floated down toward the foot of the pole, again memories of Zetura’s face flashed into his immortal mind and immediately little rivulets appeared on his face, her death was quite a terrible tragedy the dream god couldn’t deal with. After a long while, he succeeded in clearing his mind off the sun god’s daughter to observe the mortals around him and he noticed he was surrounded by Nephrians almost twice his height, giants. Just as he came off the pole, the army surrounding him retreated some feet away in haste; it was obvious they were panicking. The dream god turned round absorbing a good view of his terrain, he wasn’t at the towers but in an enclosed part of the fortress and he was surrounded by a tall wall with an opening on the east.
“Great dream god fallen to the realm of mortals” one of the Nephrians mocked him and the whole army rang with laughter; he smiled at their mockery emitting little sparks of lightning from his eyes.
“I swear before my time is done, I would looked down on your petrified corpse and smile” he replied pointing at the soldier that mocked him. Instantly the soldier wiped out his sword and attacked the dream god but before he could strike, the Isuz moved with a speed that looked like he disappeared and caught his hand. Immediately, the soldier began to turn to stone from the spot the god came in contact with and in a blink of an eye, there was nothing left but a giant lifeless stone sculpture.
“Who’s next?” he asked still holding on to the stone statue, suddenly the army fell into speechless gazes as they tried to move farther away from the Isuz, their faces darkened with fright. After a while he let go of the statue and strode towards the trepid soldiers, he could see their fears vividly radiating on their hard faces.
“Would Galliza save you from this imminent end? What kind of master abandons his servants, except one who is a coward?” he spoke very loudly as he kept advancing towards the Nephrians. Just as he made an end of his speech, a large bolt of lightning descended to the ground from the dark sky accompanied by maniac laughter like it did during the trance and the great one knew who had come.
“Isshura!” he said to himself and at that instance, the Nephrians bowed to the ground to their evil goddess.
“Hello brother, how long did it take you to wake from that little strike? Three days? Maybe four” she said as she appeared and took to her usual abnormal laugh, the dream god smiled at her words.
“It was the time I needed to decide your fate since someone has to put an end to your menace” he replied, sparks of lightning flashing wildly from his eyes, she felt indifferent to his words and continued to laugh. The Isuz moved his hand behind him and something like a stick appeared in his hands, the dream god’s stick was a golden wand with two blue diamonds at each end of the wand, he knew she would want to take him out of surprise.
“My menace? Sounds like I have constituted a nuisance, did Tomedov tell you to do that? I have done nothing wrong” she said sternly, her face curling up in a frown but the Isuz just watched in silence.
“I am an Eesuz and I come to the aid of my worshippers just like you and Tomedov do too. Why would anyone blame me for that?” she asked angrily, her voice dripping with false sorrow.
“Nobody blames you for carrying out your godly duties to mortal man but you know you’ve been violating the laws of Mighty Aisuz and you have to face the consequences like an Eesuz.” the dream god replied her with compassion sounding in his voice.
“Consequences,” she said and bursted into her maniac laugh, “If Mighty Aisuz thinks I deserve to be punished, he would come down from his Mightiness and punish me himself.” she said grimly.
“He won’t need to, I would gladly do that for him, for Tomedov and for Zetura” the Isuz replied with a smile, Isshura had just stepped beyond her zone, she blasphemed against the Creator.
Just as he made an end of his speech, the Eesuz pointed the horn in her hands at the god sending continuous bolts of lightning towards him but he dodged them without any difficulty, he moved like he kept vanishing and appearing away from Isshura’s strikes.
“You’re such a coward Sylverine” the goddess ranted in frustration as she kept sending out her bolts of red lightning.
Suddenly, the great one took control of three of her bolts, quickly summed them into one and sent it back at her. The strike was unexpected and quite difficult to control, so she diverted it away killing one of the Nephrians with it and also giving the Isuz the time he needed to attack. With the speed of light he moved towards the goddess and struck her in the back with his wand.
“Zetura colieg fran jamata. Sata ma Luba jamatabi, you shouldn’t have killed Zetura. I wish your end too” he said grimly into her ear, instantly her eyes widened and with a loud deafening scream Isshura vaporized violently with something that looked like a dark reddish smoke till there wasn’t anything left of her and in a moment there was silence again. At the same time the Eesuz vaporized, another explosion was heard somewhere in the fortress and some moment later, Galliza landed at the Isuz’s feet unconscious. Strange and very unexplainable but there laid the wizard he was about to go after unconscious before him, if fate had a hand in the affairs of the gods of Rheudinia, I’m certain it was smiling at the moment. At the sight of their master before the dream god, the Nephrians went completely berserk and charged wantonly at the Isuz but before they could bring any harm to him, he took into flight.
“Idiots,” he grimed pointing his wand down towards them as he hovered high beyond their reach.
Quickly, several Nephrian archers hurried into the arena aiming their arrows towards the Isuz and waited for the order to shoot.
“Sata ma ezel juth da rah Galliza zatra boge noi muthe grui demas, I wish Galliza and everything in his fortress be turned into stone till the day am able to bring upon them the punishment they deserve.” the Isuz shouted in a voice that coexisted with thunders and collapsed the walls around the fortress. Simultaneously, a pink beam shot out of the diamond at the end of the wand pointed downwards and as the beam touched the sand, it began to spread like a drop of oil on water and everything the beam touched turned to stone. Moments later, the whole fortress was filled with stone figures, from the portcullis down to the crumbled wall at the other end of the estate. Just as the great one’s wish was coming to completion, it suddenly began to rain and as the moment went by, the rain increased. The dream god knew the time for his punishment was near, so he just hovered in the rain above the fortress stretching his arms sideways.
“Let your will be done.” He whispered closing his eyes tightly and like a reply, a huge and very weird bolt of lightning struck him, illuminating the dark clouds over the land of Astore as it did.
“The Creator struck the great one down?” Princess Mozzarella asked her eyes widening in astonishment but the Suz shook his head in disagreement.
“The bolt didn’t strike him down like a normal lightning but sent him flying to the west. With the speed of light he flew all the way from the land of Astore to Sylverine’s threshold north of Zeclub. Just as the lightning carried him over Zeclub, his wand fell into mount Javr which was then an active volcanic rock. That action caused a lot of commotion among both ancient and modern scholars of ancient history, several of them believed the dream god purposefully dropped his wand while others agreed it was totally coincidental but whatever it is, I believe everything in life has its purpose whether coincidental or intentional.
Just some moments away from Zeclub, the weird lightning carried the dream god through large beautifully made golden doors which pulled open on its own accord and set him down upon a diamond throne in the temple-like structure on an island called ‘Sylverine’s Threshold’. Just as he landed on the magnificent diamond, his integument began to harden and glitter with bluish hue like of sapphire. And as his body hardened, his breathe severed till he began to yelp. In an instance, all the actions of the day flashed before his eyes and tears rolled down as images of Zetura came into play. For a while it looked like he was lost within his mind but when you would believe he was gone, he cried out in a language alien to Rheudinia.
“Toli ta baseth fana bati mucona furi matana babez Scaria para na josez faro jabaste Isshura, faro jabaste Galliza. Sata maju be!” he roared in a thunderous voice that was heard as far south as Zeclub.
“And what language is that father?” the Suzia asked, interrupting once again
“Samyrah, the language of the gods and its also known as the language of Creation, it sounds just like thunder and only mortal man does not understand this language, every other creature does.” The king replied.
“And do you understand ‘Samyrah’?” she asked, her voice dripping with curiosity. The king smiled nodding resolutely.
“The spirit in me understands every single language of the seven realms, the only language I once had a problem with is the magical language of the Beyonder and this is because the language isn’t meant to be spoken or read. The great one wished that a child with his spirit would be born and on this child shall lay the burden of finding the diamond wand and retrieving the horn of Scariot from the land of the ghosts. Then a time would come when there won’t be Isshura or Galliza, a time when evil shall be forgotten. As he made this wish, a gust mixed with shimmering dust blew out of his mouth and found its way to mountain Javr, immediately a scroll appeared around the diamond wand in the mountain. At the time he made an end of his wish, the dream god was already completely crystal and lifeless. Two very significant abnormalities occurred at the exact time the great one was completely petrified, both the Threshold of Sylverine and mountain Javr disappeared off the surface of Rheudinia and for over ten thousand years scholars and sorcerers searched in futility for both. That is the legend, the last story king Bdollium narrated to me before his demise.
“Your Majesty, the horn with Eesuz Isshura was the horn of Scariot, wasn’t it?” Sud who had been quiet a while asked, the Suz gave him a nod of acknowledgement.
“Good thinking, Son.” he complimented and Sud bowed in smiles.
“So the great legend of Astore ended on such a tragic note” Princess Mozzarella said face blanched.
“Tragic?” the feeble man asked raising his brow at his daughter’s tone,
“That was just the beginning of the story child.” The old man coughed several times before continuing his narration.
My story started some years even before I was conceived, about a decade actually. Your grandfather King Bdollium stayed nineteen years after his coronation as King of Zeclub without child and this status was beginning to pose a threat to his crown. The threat I meant wasn’t from neighbouring kingdoms or from certain adversaries within his kingdom but a threat from someone who was equally entitled to the Zeclubian Crown. King Onyx of Zeclub, one of the most respected Kings of Rheudinia was blessed with only two sons, the first Bdollium and the second Jodan who was three years younger. The two boys rivalled each other at everything and though Suzzac Bdollium was heir to the throne, the other prince dreamt very much to take his place. Soon this desire drove Jodan to desperation and with help from Quen the court magician, he made attempts at his brother’s life but the Mighty Aisuz favoured Bdollium and made him survive the evil of his brother. Even with this, Suzzac Bdollium never failed to love his brother, he would buy him gifts and give advice whenever he can but Jodan despised him the more. At the time Jodan’s jealousy had grown into enmity, King Onyx passed away and immediately Bdollium was crowned Suz of Zeclub, in disappointment Jodan exiled himself from his homeland travelling far west into the Mountains of Ecclesia. The King searched Ecclesia for a decade looking for his younger brother but didn’t find him because he did not want to be found.
One fateful day, about a year before I was conceived, King Bdollium sat in his royal court burdened with the sorrows of his childlessness when his Queen walked slowly into the court, her face dripping in the same emotion.
“My Lord, what troubles thy soul?” Queen Kus asked as she knelt in front of him, she could notice dark circles around his eyes.
“Being without child troubles me greatly my queen.” The Suz replied honestly bending down towards her. Almost immediately he felt drops of tears on his feet, quickly he stood from the aurum seat and moved forward to touch his queen.
“I didn’t mean to hurt you my queen,” he spoke with so much affection as he held her shoulders, instantly she shrugged his hands off and turned away from him, the sound of her sobs increased.
“You do not hurt me, I cry because Sylverine has failed to fulfil my dreams and wish,” she replied with so much pain in her voice, her head dropping downwards. The King slowly turned her round to face him, and then he picked her hands like they were delicate and placed a kiss on them.
“Sylverine had never failed; he would give us a child when the time is right.” He assured her with a faint smile and drew her close to his chest, kissing her black hair as he ran his fingers through it like he wants to clean every strand. And there they stood for some moments locked together in a world of their own, a world in which nothing else existed.
They were still entangled in their affectionate embrace when an attendant came into court and bowed to the ground when he got near the Royal couple.
“My Lord, I have news both great and bad.” He said with his face bowed to the court floor. Solemnly the couple broke from their embrace and both returned to the thrones, hands locked together.
“What’s the news Sinus?” the Suz asked, his face degenerating into a frown, it was obvious he didn’t like the attendants intrusion in their private affair.
“My Lord, Your brother is here at Zeclub,” Sinus replied with a bow. Immediately King Bdollium jumped off his throne, his eyes widened in bewilderment or perhaps disbelief, sometimes emotions are hard to tell.
“Jodan is here at Zeclub? The Suzzac is back?” he said holding Sinus, and then he glided towards the Su of Zeclub. “Did you hear that my Queen, your Brother-in-law is back home” He took her hands and kissed it again.
“That’s the great news my King, there’s something else.” Sinus interrupted again and this time it’s the kiss ritual, slowly the Suz turned round towards him.
“I’m listening Sinus.”
“The Suzzac stands outside the Walls with about fifty thousand armed men.” The attendant replied and the Suz’s face went blank with surprise.
“Is that the bad news?” he asked sounding indifferent, “Get my royal chariots ready, I would love to welcome my brother home personally.” He ordered
“Your majesty, I would beseech you to re-consider going outside the wall.” Sinus pleaded with the Suz and as he still spoke, another attendant hurried into the court.
“My Lord, the Suzzac approaches the gate with ten armed men.” The second attendant reported succinctly with a bow. The King returned to his throne and sat heavily, running his hand through his hair. His mind wasn’t at peace, he wanted very much to believe that Jodan had changed but he sincerely had to be cautious too. He sat for several moments lost in his mind; Queen Kus noticed and stretched her hand to take hold of his.
“What!” he asked startled, when he saw the look in his Queen’s face, his countenance relaxed and he smiled.
“You were lost dear” she told him with a curious look displayed upon her beautiful yet pale face. King Bdollium squeezed her hand gently and kissed it again.
“I’m fine dear,” he replied with a smile and turned towards the attendants, “Sinus, get the soldiers to line every step of the way to the palace, monitor the Suzzac and his army steadfastly and get the Zeclubian captains and the archers to court immediately. Get everyone ready for any surprises but do not let the council know about his presence yet, I would notify them personally.” He ordered. Immediately Sinus bowed and hurried out of court.
“Zadik, get me my sword.” He ordered the second attendant and he hurried out of court too.
Though King Bdollium was delighted at his younger brother’s return but he couldn’t shake off the uneasy feeling that strangled his thought. The wicked history of the younger Suzzac still flooded his mind though he wished ernestly that his brother had changed.
Jodan smiled as he approached the great gates of Zeclub, looking excitedly at the hard faces ahead of him.
“This will all be ours,” he said to the nearest man to him as he stared at the Zeclubian wall stretching from the gates to infinity. Just as he got to the gates, it was pulled open and he trod amidst two rows of armed warriors until he got to the palace gates. He seem to stare in bewilderment at the major transfiguration around the Kingdom since he left, there were beautiful gardens and statues all around the palace and kingdom. The transfiguration even seem to touch the people of Zeclub too, there was happiness everywhere he looked. Children played without inhibition, both men and fairies looking quite healthy and satisfied with themselves. Jodan was so impressed.
“Bdollium hasn’t done badly at all,” he confessed to the ten men with him and they nod in agreement. As Jodan’s group got to the Royal court, the soldiers at the court doors made way for them. With pride he strode into the court towards his brother and the Queen and bowed.
“My brother, the King, hope you’re in good health?” he asked in smiles, the Suz arose and moved to hug his brother delightfully.
“My lost brother is back home to his rightful place, I’m in great health Jodan.” he replied patting his brother on the back, and then he turned round towards the door with his hand on his brother’s shoulder.
“Do you like what I’ve done with the place?” he asked and his brother responded with a nod.
“You’ve done just wonderfully my King.” he replied and the Suz’s eyes widened in surprise, he couldn’t believe his brother just called him his King. He responded with a smile patting his brother’s back continually. Then they turned towards the Zeclubian Queen and the Suz stretched his hands to his wife.
“Do you remember the Suzia of Ecclesia that entertained us on our first trip with father?” King Bdollium asked his brother and the younger prince bowed to the Queen.
“I was just twelve then, she has grown to be very beautiful, I knew you always had an eye for cute things.” Jodan replied, whispering into his brother’s ear and the Suz bursted into laughter.
“And you my brother always had a thing for humour” he said out loud still laughing. Then Jodan moved towards the Queen, took her right hand and kissed it. One of the King’s attendants brought two gold cups of the best berry wine in the Land on a silver tray to the King who took one and gave the other to his brother, and then he moved to his throne and sat.
“Tell me brother, where have you been? I searched all of Ecclesia and couldn’t find you,” he asked looking conservatively into his brother’s eyes before taking a sip from his golden cup.
“So the rumours were true, you did come looking for me after all I did to you?” Jodan replied with a look of remorse and the King’s eyes softened, a smile dancing across his face.
“That’s what brothers do Suzzac; they look out and take care of each other.” The Suz replied his brother and the younger prince bowed. Almost immediately seats were brought into the court for Jodan and his cohorts, then several fair maids walked in with large bowls of fruits into the court and placed them before the guests.
“I went in search of something,” Jodan said tersely as he took his seat on the furniture nearest to his brother, the King. Instantly, the Suz’s gazed narrowed in suspicion.
“Something so powerful, it’s believed to be the relic of creation” he continued.
“And did you find this powerful relic you so dearly speak of?”
“Not yet my King, but I plan to find it soon.” The younger brother replied.
“Planning to find it here in Zeclub with fifty thousand armed men, who make tents outside my walls?” The Suz asked anxiously,” or you have other reasons for having them come here with you.”
Jodan gave a little smirk bowing his head to his brother.
“I come in peace my King, the beauty of your children has burnt through the lands and I come that I may behold my nephews and nieces. His Majesty, Please kindly order them to court.” Jodan spoke with a cunning smile on his face. Immediately Queen Kus grew red with rage and for a while she wanted to jet off her aurum seat and knock the smile off the Suzzac’s face but something kept her confined to the throne like bonds. She turned to take a look at the Suz’s reaction to his brother’s mockery but he was taking it in maturely like the king he is, his integument glowed in smiles. There began to grow murmurs like whispers around the royal court.
“We all know the gods have not blessed me with a child yet.” He replied reclining into the comfort of his golden furniture. As much as he kept calm, his heart kept throbbing painfully against his chest and his throat went dry from scarcity of moisture.
“Oh! How could I have known? I have been abroad a long while. I am sorry at your plight brother.” Jodan spoke softly, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
“Name your intentions brother.” The Suz spoke tersely, his face curling up into a frown. Jodan smiled and stood from his seat trotting majestically to the middle of the court, his warriors with him. Now the murmurs began to grow louder as every eye followed the guests to the middle of the room.
“Great and mighty Zeclub, today I stand before you today as a Suzzac hoping to claim what is rightfully mine and even the gods would agree to this,” he said turning round to face everyone present at court at that moment. Queen Kus wanted to speak but the Suz grabbed her hand and stopped her, slowly she reclined into her throne.
“I have been blessed with good fortunes and beautiful children not like you my brother. There had always been a drag for the crown through the ages and now it’s my time, give unto me the kingdom and save our family from extinction.” Jodan said facing his brother, immediately every soldier in the court wiped out his weapon, stretching it at the Suzzac and his cohorts.
“Stop!” the Suz ordered waving his hands as he stood to his feet before the slightest violence could erupt before his eyes. “Put those weapons back to its sheaths.” He said and moved towards his brother, placed his hand on his shoulder. For a moment he could feel the muscles harden beneath his touch, it felt like they repelled his contact.
“Brother if you want me to step down for you, am so sorry to hurt you but I won’t and I could have you hanged for speaking those words you just did but I won’t either. I made a promise to father upon his dying bed never to lay hands to hurt you and I intend to keep that promise though you’re making a great difficulty of it.” He said and held Jodan’s hand as the younger man moved to brace his sword. For a moment their faces locked into each other and tears streamed upon the eyelid of the King, the evil in his brother’s mind hurt him immeasurably. Suddenly he let go of the Suzzac and retreated some steps back.
“You can go in peace Jodan.” Immediately Jodan’s cohort turned round and quickly moved out of the court but the Suzzac didn’t move a foot, he shot a gaze straight at his brother and smiled.
“I asked nicely and you turned me down like I expected. Bdollium here in this court is my bracelet of life and I’ll fight you to get it. I would fight and defeat you, and then we’ll see who precedes you and your Zodiac by the day of the waters. We’ll meet again brother.” Jodan replied then he turned and walked fearlessly out of court, leaving voices whispering all round the Zeclubian court. For a while the Suz stood completely dumbfounded, his spirit saddened by his brother’s words, the very thing King Onyx tried all his life to avoid was a war between his sons and at the moment only the gods of Rheudinia could stop it from happening.
“Silence!” He roared and like a curse, the entire court fell into serenity, “You all heard my brother, a war is coming and you all better get prepared. May Sylverine be with you as you defend the Zeclubian honour” He continued, and then raised his left hand up.
“To Zeclub with honour!” he roared and the soldiers roared back raising their left hands too and immediately afterwards he dismissed them.
In Zeclub and most kingdoms in Bathesdi, a prince has the right to challenge his brother to a duel and rip the kingdom from him but this can be achieved only if the people of that Kingdom agree with him. Although several people had fought against this system of governance but it had become a tradition that can’t be wiped and it had also yielded some good results too. For several centuries, Zeclubian Suzzacs had always fought each other for the throne and even King Onyx who was considered soft-hearted battled his brother King Cypress to gain the throne. King Cypress could be described as a ruthless lawmaker, modifying all the laws of the land, twisting them till it became totally unbearable for the citizens. Taxes roared high and even the council of Elders couldn’t stop the King from executing his throttling laws, the populace shrivelled up in penury while the King made himself wealthy with their fat. These attitudes led to a revolt against the royal crown and even when King Cypress was suppose to soften; he hardened up, threatening to charge the protesters with high treason. With this decision, the council of elders were convinced that their King was raving mad and immediately summoned a meeting with the younger Suzzac Onyx who was at the time a renowned merchant at Zealos. After much persuasion, Onyx agreed to speak with his brother hoping that the Suz would reduce the burden of the people for his sake but instead of listening to his brother, King Cypress charged the Suzzac with high treason and ordered the soldiers to seize him. Immediately the council of elders came to Onyx defence and ordered the soldiers to stand down. The council’s action drove the King mad, he wiped out his sword and attacked his brother, though soft hearted, Onyx was a master swordsman and sorcerer too. The brothers battled while others in the court stood and watched. The council knew the gods would favour whoever should rightfully be king, so they held their peace. After battling a long while, Onyx defeated the king, decapitating his useful forelimb but before he could relieve him of the royal sword, the Suz struck himself in the side with it and died. And since that day, the day of the waters had been declared in Zeclub as a memorial for its only king to commit suicide since the foundation of Rheudinia. Due to King Cypress’s tyranny, the council disagreed that a statue be put up for the Suicidal king but still his brother erected a statue in the royal court and it stands to this very day.
Jodan unlike his father King Onyx did not have the support of the Zeclubian people and would have been rightfully condemned if he was hanged for high treason but King Bdollium wasn’t spiteful, he believed his brother would turn a gold leaf. But sometimes the goodness in our heart blinds our visibilities from the truth that even the pronunciation of the word ‘change’ hasn’t altered in a million years, so it’s not meant for all of us.
“What is this evil your brother is brewing? He wants to kill you and take the throne.” Su Kus said in something that sounded more like a whisper to the Suz who stood facing the doors of the court completely lost in thought. Her voice startled him but before he could turn round towards her, she ran out of the court sobbing as she did. The royal family had fallen into gloom for some years now and they had done excellently to cover up the pain they felt but Jodan’s words had just heightened the grief. Queen Kus kept moving as fast as her legs could carry her, racing from one section of the palace to another leaving both human and fairies in awe as she floated by. Her thoughts were completely clouded with visions of the event that occurred in the court some moments ago, tears flowed down her face as she exited the palace through the entrance on the west and moved towards a large building adjacent to it, the temple of Sylverine.
In those days, women were the only mortals allowed to offer sacrifices to the great one, they called them ‘Queen Mothers’. Though many scholars believed the dream god forbade men from offering the sacrifices but the women did it just as a remembrance of the death of Zetura, the dream god’s lover. As the queen floated into the temple, a pulp old looking lady accosted her with an embrace, then pulled her to a porch beside the entrance and sat her on it.
“Dear child, tears are meant to cleanse the eyes and not the face.” The old lady consoled her with a smile as she wipes the rivulets on her face with her palm.
“Queen mother, I want to speak with the Isuz,” she said still sobbing uncontrollably. The old woman pulled her closer and held her face tenderly in her palms.
“It’s going to be alright dear child.” She assured but the queen pulled herself away from the lady and moved off the porch.
“It’s not going to be mother; you can’t possibly understand what I’m going through. I just want to speak with the gods, I really need to.” She pleaded with the priestess still sobbing.
“The gods? You know you don’t have to come to me if you want to talk with the Sar.” The old lady replied raising her face towards the Su still confined to her position on the porch.
The great one had messengers, ‘Sanai’ as they are called in the Zeclubian tongue and the most famous of these Sanais is known as ‘Sar’. Although no one alive can really describe this creature because no one has seen it in a very long time but it comes to mortals who acknowledge and worship the great one whenever they are in agony. Even as no one has seen it, no one has heard its voice but when the windows and doors of the room close suddenly and the sun or moon rays form something like a hand on the door or window, Sar is present. Several mortals even worship this inscrutable creature as a lesser Isuz to the dream god.
“You just have to sit in your room and wait patiently, the grief in your heart would attract the Sar to you” the Priestess consoled.
“Mother, it’s not the Sar I want to speak with; it’s Sylverine the Isuz himself.” She clamoured still in tears and immediately the queen mother stood and embraced her.
“Oh Kus, only a priestess can speak with the gods and you know that so very well,” she explained to the younger woman resting on her shoulder. “But if you insist, may the gods favour you.” She said with a smile blowing across her aged face as she kissed the Queen. Su Kus kissed her in return and made way for the door ahead of the temple entrance. The door opened into a large room, as large as the royal court but there were no statues or thrones in this room. It had different paintings on its walls and a large pile of colourful stones with hot air rising out in the middle of the room. As the Queen entered into the room, she closed the large wooden door behind her and moved solemnly towards the pile in the middle of the room, the altar of the dream god. Just as she got very near the altar, a large column of hot gas rose out of the pile with a loud noise which made her jump back precipitately. She didn’t go any further but went down on her knees before the altar and closed her eyes, then she began to move her lips like she was talking but nothing came out of her mouth. In silence she meditated, her entire being trembling in agony as she knelt before the altar of the great one and about the ninth hour, she fell asleep.
Out of the vanity of uncertainty she heard the sound of bells, twittering birds and the laughter of a male child all at the same time; it was such sweet melody to her ears that she didn’t bother to open her eyes so she won’t miss any part of it. Then for a while she felt like she was levitated and laid on a soft feathery structure.
“He is yours now,” A sweet masculine voice said sounding very distinct to the melody she was listening to and immediately, she tried to open her eyes but they wouldn’t obey her. Her eyes felt like they were glued and the more she tried to pull them open, the tighter they felt.
“No, don’t do that dear, relax, let the stream of joy fill you up, sleep Kus, its going to be alright. Sleep Bathas metli nacalitus.” The male voice sounded again soothing her and gently, like a magical charm, everything she heard faded into uncertainty.
After what seem like ages, she gained consciousness and opened her eyes, this time it pulled open quite easily, it was back to normal. There was darkness everywhere but she was quite able to see everything around her because of several dim sources of light. Then all of a sudden, she felt pressed against a creature that was exceptionally warm, a man and he held her strapped tightly to his chest.
“It’s okay now, you’re back dear.” A deep masculine voice sounded above and the voice seems to vibrate through her as it did. Slowly her mind could recognise the voice, it was her husband’s. She raised her head to see him peering down at her, his countenance charmed by the smile radiating upon his kingly face.
“You need to rest now.” He said and kissed her temples, at that moment she remembered she had a vision or dream as she couldn’t yet agree which it was but unfortunately she couldn’t remember a single thing she saw during her time in another realm. Several times she tried to find clues to remind her but nothing came forth, it was like that part of her existence had been burnt out of her memory. Voluntary tears began to stream down her fair cheeks, she felt so hurt and completely empty.
“My lord, I had a dream, an excellent one and I can’t remember it, even just a tiny bit. How unfortunate I am.” She sobbed lowering her head in shame. Gently, the Suz moved his fingers to her chin and raised it up towards him; his face now glowed in smiles.
“You are not unfortunate my love, you are blessed. Cheer up, Sylverine has answered our prayers.” He said placating her and wiped the tears of her cheeks.
In Vestronorian myths, it is believed that when mortals wish desperately for a thing from the gods and that mortal falls into sleep and dreams of something relevant to his wish but when he awakes, he cannot remember his dream, his prayers has been answered. The dream is believed to be erased by the gods so mortal man wouldn’t take actions to alter the answer before its manifests. This myths are very much believed to be real even though many scholars had discredit most of the ancient myths, thus terming them as untrue and hypothetical. Mortal man periled with the knowledge curse would always try to understand the ways of the realms, a feat even the gods have not accomplished.
At the Suz’s words, a smile swayed across her pretty face and she dug her face into his chest. It felt wonderful hearing that her wish had been granted, nothing could compare to the joy she felt, not the beauty of the moons shining brightly in the dark ocean far above nor the sweet smell of her husband’s chest not even the melody that played through her mind. She felt like she could finally breathe the air of liberty, at last her sacrifice had been accepted.
“This is great news dear queen and it would do quite well in improving the moral of the soldiers on the battle ground tomorrow, I have been working with the captains on their battle strategy over and over again. I think we could actually win this war without losing a single Zeclubian warrior” The Suz said like he was doing a soliloquy, he felt excitement brewing uncontrollably in him. At first it looked like the queen didn’t hear him but all of a sudden, she pulled her head off his chest and stared him straight in the face.
“The day of the waters is tomorrow?” she asked and the king motioned his head in agreement.
“You have been asleep for two nights. Tomorrow we put an end to Jodan’s threat once and for all,” he said with so much enthusiasm but the queen’s face blanched, her mind drifted through time and space.
“What if…...” she tried to say before he stopped her with his finger upon her soft lips.
“Nothing is going to happen to me because I’m not going down to battle tomorrow. I would be by your side all through the day, let’s just wish Sylverine favours us against him.” The Suz said, and his Su smiled, revealing the beauty her gloom had captured all these years.
“He would favour them my king. He wouldn’t want my unborn Suzzac to live without a father.” She replied smiling more radiantly now. The king stared at the happiness in her face like he had never seen anything like it, then slowly his head moved towards hers, he sought her lips with his till they made contact. For a long while, they were engaged in kisses, each lip trying to devour the other. How long they kissed wasn’t important, what mattered was that they were close to each other all through the night engaged in succession of romantic events.
“Hmm, What sort of events?” Princess Mozzarella asked rather playfully, eyeing her father as she spoke, the old Suz smiled, cleared his throat and continued his tale.
Some times I wonder the essence of violence, war, battle and I can’t really settle my mind on reasons why both the gods, mortals and most creatures engage themselves in acts of violence. Then I come to dissolve that violence is the curse of living, like a structural fault at creation, a mistake by the Creator but then my mind comes to the knowledge that Mighty Aisuz, the creator is the most perfect of beings if he can actually be called that. So where did that fault in nature incept from? The cause of it we would never know, no matter how much we try, uncertainties would continue to exist. The next morning rose swiftly into the history of Zeclub, the day of the waters arriving once again and another bloodshed was imminent. At the sight of first light, the captains of Zeclub were already outside the walls with their army in the thick morning fog and the gates into the Kingdom were completely blocked.
At the Sixth hour, just as the fog was clearing out of sight, the captains could see Jodan’s army marching towards the walls. The Suzzac rode ahead of them on a strong black stallion dressed like a King. Just as Jodan noticed they had company at the other side as he had expected, he stopped and raised his right hand up. Instantly, the seven Zeclubian captains raised their hands too, this was in accordance with Zeclubian tradition. The tradition of raised hands was to be observed among parties at war which do not have words to say to each other, it just shows that they are both prepared to battle and are asking that the gods judge their warfare.
“Fall to formation, Defence!” the Captains ordered in loud voices as they quickly withdrew back into the army after the ceremony of raising hands was completed. Immediately large metal shields appeared all round the Zeclubian army making it look like a large elongated dome of metals in front of the great Walls of Zeclub. Just as the building of the dome was completed, whooping sounds rent the air and afterwards came a storm of arrows upon the Zeclubian army just as the Captains had expected. The arrows kept raining down for a long while but not one soldier of the Zeclubian army was hurt by it, their strategy was working perfectly. After a while, the arrows stopped and there was silence, it looked like both armies were trying to anticipate the opponent’s next move. Jodan’s army stood quiet trying to observe what had happened at the other side of the battleground and the fog wasn’t making it an easy task to do, while the Zeclubians stood in their Metal fortress listening to every sound around them. Suddenly, the sound of a large horn rent the air and immediately, Jodan’s army charged towards the walls of Zeclub but the Suzzac’s stallion stood confined to its position and with him the ten warriors that followed him into the city.
“Attack Formation!” the Zeclubian captains roared just after the sound of the horn, and their order was followed by a loud dong. Immediately, several openings were revealed in the walls of the city high above the metal dome and in these openings were archers with flaming arrows waiting to release their weapons. The fog worked excellently against Jodan’s army for they couldn’t see the openings in the wall or the archers that stood in them.
“Javat!” the captains ordered loudly and instantly, the archers released their weapons. The fog grew red with fire and it rained brimstone upon Jodan’s army, both soldiers and their horses were not spared. As the fiery storm began, the metal dome also began to move solemnly towards the adversary. The arrows kept flying in like the waves of the waters of ponchrious upon the shores of Zealos, causing mayhem as it came to ground. A very large part of Jodan’s army was either injured or killed by the flaming arrows and those who survived were consumed by the warriors in the metal dome. Fire mingled with the fluid of life as the Zeclubians were winning the war without even losing a soul, though several of the Zeclubians were injured but none was severe. Now the battle was getting sore for Jodan’s army and quickly they retreated, fighting as they did but it was obvious the gods of Rheudinia was against Jodan for the Zeclubian dome kept advancing. Moments just after the sun came into the beautiful altocumulus clouds, Jodan was captured along with what remained of his large army and they were all led back into the city guarded at both sides by Zeclubian warriors. As they got to the palace, the Suzzac was separated from his army and the captains led him into the palace to face the punishment he deserved. As he was led into the royal court, Jodan felt a pain in his back and slowed down to regain his strength.
“Don’t touch me infidel.” Jodan snapped at one of the captains that wanted to help him and quickly he straightened.
King Bdollium came into court dressed unusually gorgeous, like he was having a festival and everyone bowed as he strode towards his throne. With the stares and whispers among those at court, it was obvious everybody was surprised to see the Suz in such beautiful apparel; it has been years since he wore anything as gorgeous as that. As the Suz sat he surveyed the court and after a while, his stare fell to his brother sulking in the shame of his defeat. A wicked joy filled him.
“There’s just a thin line between thraldom and liberty, this is one of the major lessons you have to learn in life. I remember just like yesterday when I was so excited to welcome you to this court and see what that welcome had turned into. You my brother a prisoner of war in your own home” The Suz spoke to his brother and smiled, slowly the smile turned into loud chuckles and laughter, the sound of mockery. Jodan stood blanched at his brother’s mockery and solemnly the truth began to settle into him. It is usual for mortal to have regrets; it’s the truth that had been staring us in the face all along but we wouldn’t heed to until it’s probably too late. If Jodan was supposed to be King, destiny would have raised him to the thrones of Zeclub and nothing King Bdollium does would stop it, that’s the truth his perverse mind couldn’t see. The feeling of shame and guilt got so overwhelming that tears leaked down the corner of his eyes but he got a hold of himself before added more embarrassment to his plight.
“Are you contempt now my prince?” King Bdollium asked looking conservatively into the Suzzac’s face but the younger man did not respond.
“I loved you like a brother, forgave your wickedness and wished that you would change but it got worse. You of all know that anyone who attacks the royal crown must be hanged and that’s what your fate had written for you but I would give you an option, a brotherly option.” The king stood from his throne and trod towards the Suzzac.
“I would give you a year to live, just one year and at the end of these days, if a child is born unto me, you would live but if not you head straight to the gallows.” He said and afterwards placed his hand on his brother’s shoulder.
“May the gods favour you” He said and immediately walked out of the court leaving Jodan to the mercy of the captains and some elders at court. As King Bdollium exited the room, Jodan made a sound like he was gasping for breathe. Suddenly he could hear the beat of his own heart like it was beating right through his ears, the words of his verdict also sounded in his head making him feel nauseated, slowly all the sounds he heard and the feelings in his body fell into confusion. Just some moments afterwards, he slumped. The captains bursted into laughter as the Suzzac fainted, quickly two of them carried him out of the court into one of the rooms in the palace and three soldier where placed at the entrance to the room to keep guard of the royal prisoner.
“So grandfather didn’t kill his brother though the younger Suzzac deserved to die, that sounds like a trait my dear father had inherited too.” Princess mozzarella complimented her father and the old man smiled exposing what remained of his deteriorated dentition.
“Kindness runs in the blood down to even you my Suzia,” Sud whispered to the princess and caused the pink in her cheek to appear. There was something so special about the relationship between the chief attendant and the Suzia of Zeclub, they both showed gratitude to gestures thrown at each other.
“Thank you Sud.” She replied, her voice sounding so lovely and affectionate.
Days went by, months after months and so did the belly of the Su rise. Three months after her mysterious dream, there appeared a sign on the Queen’s stomach just beside her navel and it was shaped like a thin rod with diamonds at both ends, a sign like the wand of the dream god. Eight months after her dream, the Queen was temporarily moved to the temple of Sylverine and there she stayed till the night of her delivery. At the ninth hour of the ninth day in the ninth month, Su Kus began to cry out in excruciating throes. Quickly the queen mother hurried toward her as she kept screaming.
“Mother get Bdollium, its time” she screamed at the older woman and immediately, the priestess summoned the temple’s only male steward to inform the Suz. The words had not ended in the steward’s mouth when the King jumped out of his royal bed and made way to the temple, the steward following intimately in pursuit. Just has he got out of the palace, a loud thunderstorm started. There was no rain but the thunderstorm continued, quaking through the foundation of Rheudinia and flashes of lightning illuminated the dark nightly sky. At the time the queen fell into labour, with loud flushing sound fire rose out of the altar at the temple of sylverine. In the same moment all the doors to the temple closed so no one could either go in or come out of it, even King Bdollium was stranded outside. But the king understood the sign and bowed himself to the ground. The thunderstorms continued loudly over Zeclub as lightnings kept striking around the temple. It was a fearsome sight, even inhabitants of kingdoms around could feel the presence of the thunderstorm and lightnings, and they wondered what was happening in Zeclub.
This phenomenon continued until the Su gave birth to her baby, then the fire coming out of the stone piles at the altar stopped. At the same moment, the thunderstorms and lightning stopped preternaturally and the doors to the temple pulled open on its own accord. Immediately, king Bdollium raced into the temple but met the priestess some distance away from the entrance carrying some thing wrapped in white wool tenderly against her bosom. The king noticed the Queen mother was sobbing as she came wearily towards him, he stopped in his tracks and confusion filled his mind.
“Jesme Nacalitus Sylverine; Here’s the Son of Sylverine.” She said amidst tears, raising the object in her hands towards the Suz with a slight bow of her head and he stood before her petrified with astonishment at the object before him. It was so unbelievable seeing the son of the prophecy before his eyes, the boy that would possess the spirit of the dream god and accomplish the legend of Astore sleeping peacefully upon the priestess’s hands. Precipitately, King Bdollium bowed himself to the ground before the Queen mother and the little boy in her arms, the next Suz of Zeclub. Suddenly, the thought of his queen came into his mind and along with it came excitement; he wanted to show his gratitude to her for giving him the best thing in the entire universe, the Nacalitus.
“Where’s Kus, Queen mother?” he asked as he stood back to his feet but instead of replying the king, the old woman bursted in tears and sobbed uncontrollably. Without wasting anymore moment with her, the King sprinted towards the room that had the altar and just as he was about to open the doors to the room, it was pulled open from within. A procession of several female priestesses clad in white gowns and veils covering their countenance came through the door carrying someone wrapped in fine white linen, their face completely soaked in tears and whoever they carried remained still. Suddenly, the king stopped moving and opened his mouth to speak but the words dried upon his throat. The priestesses noticing the Suz standing petrified before them stopped moving too and laid the body down ahead of him.
“The Isuz gave you his special gift for yours” the Queen mother said from behind him, she was still sobbing. The king slowly dropped to his knees covering his face with his hands, the news he heard was so incredibly to believe. For a while he prayed in his heart that his queen would stand from where her still body laid ahead of him, he was looking for a miracle. Slowly he crawled towards the body and raised it to his knees, tearing off the linen that was used to seal her face. She lay peacefully in his hands, pallid and so beautiful; it was so hard to believe that she was dead. The Suz’s eyes grew wet with tears; solemnly it streamed down his face and dropped on the body before him.
“Get me Zakkad the prestidigitator!” he barked at no one in particular, his voice degrading into sobs.
“There is nothing Zakkad can do for her now. She gave her life to the gods to give you a son, the greatest sacrifice ever witness by the gods of Rheudinia.” The Queen mother said as she placed a hand on his shoulder to comfort him. Afterwards he fell quiet, sobbing silently as he held the body of his queen tightly to his body. His mind soared into time and space, wondering why Queen Kus sacrificed her life which he appreciated much more than a hundred sons. Pain filled him up and thoughts after thoughts kept flowing into his mind, he loved his queen and for a while he wished he died in her stead.
“Sylverine! Why her? You could have taken my life instead of hers” he shouted out raising his face to the ceiling of the temple, the body still strapped to his chest.
The human mind was created to feel pain and sadness at the loss of a loved one; it’s like a chain binding us to one another. When someone very endearing to us dies, it feels like a part of us had been torn from the whole being and in several cases, our beings never become whole again. As the King mourned the death of his Su, her ghost rose out of its lifeless encasement and stood staring at the Suz’s gesture of pain. She tried to put a hand on his shoulder to comfort him but her hands went straight through him.
“You would be fine my love.” She whispered into his ear and instantly the Suz turned his head towards where she spoke from, it was obvious he heard her voice but couldn’t see her. It was so painful to see tears on her husband’s face has he knelt with her body pulled close to his chest so she moved away from him face blanched. Quickly, the ghost floated towards the priestess to take a look at the child in her hands, her eyes softened with a smile at the sight of her little cute Suzzac. The child still laid peacefully in the old woman’s hand and for a while she wished to touch him, to hold him and sing to him a Zeclubian lullaby but it was now impossible.
“Kus its time to leave” A bold but gentle masculine voice said to the ghost sounding from the room with the altar and immediately she put her finger to touch the face of the child.
“The gods bless you my dear child” she said and moved away from the priestess and in a moment she disappeared through the doors that led to the room that had the altar.
The Su was buried alongside predecessors of her title in front of the Zeclubian palace in the place now known as the garden of Sta and days later a life size sculpture of her was placed upon her grave, a monument that stands in the garden to this very day.
“And that’s the story of my birth.” The old man narrated and reclined into the comfort of the large Zeclubian throne.
“Quite interesting father,” the Suzia said with an acknowledging nod,“You always told me that story when I was a child.” she said stretching up in a yawn. The Suz turned his gaze suddenly at her, his face mixed with exclamation and curiosity.
“When you were a child? So what are you now?”
“I’m a woman now father, a woman.” she replied and elbowed Sud who was so filled with laughter, the King also joined in the laughing spree.
Laughter rang for a while in the court and it faded out when the court doors was pulled open and a female attendant strolled into the large room. She was dark skinned, slim and exceptional tall, and had long blonde hair which was rolled up into a bun. She looked quite beautiful in a flimsy pink gown and even the Suz couldn’t help but stare a while at her. She paid homage to him and moved towards the princess, knelt beside her and whispered into her ear.
“I remember Adree but as you can see I’m currently attending to more important matters. Send a message through the royal courier with my apologies and promise to be in attendance tomorrow.” she replied tersely and quickly, the attendant gave a nod and strode quickly out of court.
“Adree! Have someone bring wine to court for his majesty and my lady.” Sud ordered at the beautiful dark skinned attendant just as she got to the doors, she turned round and bowed in acknowledgement.
“I was supposed to be at the female games this evening but that can wait till tomorrow, I’ve been in attendance since it began four days ago,” princess mozzarella explained to her father and Sud who seem to stare at her like they were waiting for her to share Adree’s words with them.
“I hear your team is doing quite well at the games” her father said just as a man dressed exactly like Sud came into the court with a large beautifully crafted metal vessel and a golden tray with three cups on it. Quickly, he dropped the tray on the secretary’s table and took the largest cup in the tray, a gold cup laced with diamonds at its thin stem, poured a cupful of purple liquid from the vessel and handed it to the Suz. Then he took another smaller gold cup poured the purple fluid into it and handed it to the Suzia.
“Thank you Xiros, you can leave now.” Sud spoke, smiling at the attendant as he was about to pour him a drink too. The attendant gave a nod and bowed to the King, then he hurried out of court.
“Yes father, you asked about my team?” the Suzia asked immediately after the court doors were pulled to a close and the Suz shook his head in agreement, “The team is doing great. They won all the races including the Griffin race, you should have been at the tournament yesterday, it was Team Suzia all the way but they couldn’t beat the Captains Team in Swords and Arrows. Even still, we are topping the logs.” she narrated to her father and he smiled in approval, Sud shook his head slightly too.
“Now, can we go back to the tale, father.” she asked the King in a seducing tone and pursed her lips. The Suz smiled at her gesture and placed his cup on one of the chests by his side.
“Yes my princess, your wish is my command” he replied her and turned to Sud,“Are you ready Son?”
“Yes my King!” Sud replied quickly with a bow.
“Over the years, many wizards and sorcerers had searched predatorily for the son of the prophecy, the nacalitus of the dream god as he is called but all their search had ended in futility. Over Ten thousand years and several stories had been written of mortals who had searched all the lands to the west of Bathesdi especially Zeclub for mount javr, Sylverine’s fortress and perhaps the Naca. So when the son of the prophecy finally arrived, the Suz was obligated to keep it a secret between himself and the priestess of the temple for the safety of the child and perhaps the entire Kingdom of Zeclub.
A day after the birth of the Suzzac, in a short family ceremony Su Kus was buried. Her grave dug beside that of Su Afradia, King Bdollium mother in the garden of Su. Returning from the ceremony, the Suz ordered that Jodan be brought before him at court. It was exactly nine months that the Suzzac was captured and incarcerated in one of the palace rooms and he hadn’t set eyes on his brother all these while. So he felt surprised that the Suz summoned him to court so early in the day, it definitely was an important matter. Perhaps his days of existence were almost over, he thought and his mind kept juggling from one thought to the other. When he entered the court in the midst of six armed soldiers, the King was standing beyond the Zeclubian thrones, tracing the painting of the colourful birds on the wall with his fingers.
“He is here, my lord” one of the soldiers with the Suzzac alerted the King of Jodan’s presence. Instantly, he turned round to face the court and waved his hand to dismiss everyone at court. With bows they exited the court and closed the doors, leaving the brothers all to themselves.
“I summoned you to court, to give you news.” the Suz said as he descended towards his brother.
“News? What sort of news interests a dead man? If my time is due, I gladly accept my fate” Jodan replied abruptly and the Suz shook his head in disagreement to his words.
“Cheer yourself up brother; there won’t be anymore deaths in this palace. Infact I bring you good tidings, news that would gladden your heart…. Well, if you still have something there to call a heart”
“I never knew royal jesters do spread good news too, for nine months you imprisoned me in that hole, fed me like an invalid and kept me away from my family. So what good news can you possibly conceive? That you have considered to let me go free being the good brother that you always are and” he nagged and paused, totally confused on what to say next. The Suz walked round his brother in smiles and held his shoulder.
“You’re right, I’m letting you go and it isn’t because I just feel like but rather that the gods have given me a child, a Nacalitus” he said with so much excitement that his voice vibrated. Jodan for a while felt that his auditory was playing tricks on him; precipitately he turned towards his brother.
“You have a Son now?” he asked staring into his brother’s face and the King gave him a nod. Suddenly, he gave his brother a hug which surprised the King.
“I’m sincerely happy for you” he said and he sounded happy indeed as tears of joy flowed down his cheeks. Now he knew his ambition to be King was truly over, Bdollium now had a successor.
“The gods gave me the child of the ten millennium prophecy, the Nacalitus” He told his brother excitedly and immediately, the younger Suzzac’s countenance changed, his eyes widened in bewilderment.
“The child of the prophecy? The Naca?” Jodan asked in a frown. King Bdollium was too excited to notice the look on his brother’s face, he moved towards the thrones and knelt infront of it.
“How is that possible?”
“All appreciation should be given to Sylverine but it’s the sacrifice of Su Kus that must have brought about it. I would miss my Queen and” he said before he was interrupted by a strange sound, like metals were dragged along each other. Quickly he turned round to find his brother pointing a sword at him. For a while he couldn’t understand what mystery was evolving before his eyes, a man that was happy about his Son now drew a sword at him.
“What is this madness Jodan?” he asked grimly, a curious look in his eyes.
“Why would the gods give you the Nacalitus?” he asked with a frown,“I always knew the gods were partial, they made you King and also gave you the son of the prophecy. The gods made a mistake; I would make sure I send back their gifts to them”
The Suz stood for a while startled at his brother’s words and couldn’t understand why such evil still existed in his brother’s heart; it was like he was cursed with it.
“I wasted so many years believing that you would turn from the path of rebellion but I guess that would not happen in this life” the King said and immediately, Jodan charged at him but before he could strike the Suz, he rolled away and ran towards one of the statues in the court, the statue of King Onyx and withdrew the royal sword by his side, Jodan was right on his track. Just as he removed the sword, he climbed up the statue and flipped away from it. And as he did, Jodan’s strike hit the statue at the knee, chopping off some pieces of the sculpture.
“You don’t even honour father,” the king teased from behind him and Jodan went completely berserk. My father and his brother were trained by the best swordsmen in all of Rheudinia but like I was told, the King was more dedicated to the cause than his brother so he was a better and more experienced swordsman. The sound of clashing swords alerted the captains at the door and they had to come into court to feed their curiosity. Lo and behold, there before them was their Suz and his brother but it wasn’t really clear if they were actually battling or sword practising. The soldiers were confused because though the fight looked fierce, whenever the Suz dispossessed Jodan of his weapon, instead of striking him, he would step back and allow the younger Suzzac to regain his sword then they would continue to duel. The sword play continued and the King had the upper hand but suddenly the tables turned like fate punished him for not putting an end to his foe. He dodged one of Jodan’s strikes, stepping back as he did and tripped over one of the small tables in the court, instantly he fell losing his weapon as he did. At that moment, Jodan it was his time to end it all, now or never. Quickly he jumped at his brother raising his weapon high but before he could bring an end to his brother’s life, one of the captains grabbed a spear from the hands of one of the soldiers that stood outside the court and threw it at the Suzzac. The spear hit its target in the back and pierced through his heart, coming out through his ribs, it was a perfect aim. The Suzzac grunted and fell towards the Suz but quickly, he raised his legs and flipped the younger man over. When he stood, he took a solemn stare at his brother’s body which was now bleeding from the chest and closed his eyes in meditation. The captains and soldiers rushed into court towards the Suz and bowed.
“Good aim Soldier, the king spoke, his eyes still closed, “You should have left him to me.”
“Am sorry my lord but the Suzzac was going to strike you,” the captain that threw the spear replied kneeling before the King. The Suz turned his head to look at the captain and turned back his gaze at his brother’s body.
“He wasn’t even close but I think his days were long overdue,” he said in a voice that sounded like it was mixed with grief. Then he moved towards the body and covered its eyes, at that same instance tears streamed involuntarily down his face.
“I promised father that I would never lay my hands on you but fate had destined your end already. May you find peace in the land of the ghosts.” He soliloquized sorrowfully and sobbed quietly. For a while he perched over his brother’s body in tears, and then he stood up wiping the tears off his face and turned towards the captains and soldiers.
“Prepare the body for burial and send messengers into the kingdom, summon the whole of Zeclub to court. Tell them, the Suz has words for them and get someone to clean this place up.” He said and walked out of the court amidst their bows.
It was a blue day upon Zeclub and the only day two members of the royal family would be buried in the history of the land. Though the Suz was trying very much to keep it low but he felt the people, citizens of the land had the right to know. So he went out to the front of the palace where several citizens of Zeclub were gathered awaiting him.
“The Suz approaches” a loud masculine voice sounded just before a loud blast of horns as King Bdollium stepped on the porch of the main entrance into the palace followed closely by members of the council of Elders, then the Queen Mother and the captains of Zeclub behind an entourage of Ecclesian royalties who came for the queen burial earlier in the day. As he appeared before the throng, they went down on their knees and bowed before him, every one of them man, fairy and child.
“Arise good people of Zeclub, I appreciate that you all left your jobs and homes to heed the voice of your King on such short notice. I know you would have heard news, rumours about the tragedies at the palace and I would like to set the rumours right.” He raising his hands high above him and his words brought murmurs all over the ground. He could clearly see the uncertainty in the eyes of his people and began to contrive in his mind a way to make them understand in diminutive words without giving any cause for speculations. Although the business of the palace is only that of the Suz and the council but Bdollium believed an honourable one would do his best to get his people well informed about major proceedings at court.
“You should all know this day is a very sad day in the history of our great kingdom and I decree that no sound of merriment should be heard in all of Zeclub and its provinces. Yesterday, the dark messenger conveyed our dear Queen and Suzia of Ecclesia, Su Kus to the land of the ghosts and perhaps her passing on brought about the strange thunderstorms experienced last night.” As he said this, the murmurs increased until it became so loud a gong had to be hit to bring the throng to serenity. After waiting for the crowd before him to fall silent, he continued.
“I also announce with deepest regret the passing on of my brother, Suzzac Jodan who I believe most of you are displease with”
“He was a traitor, he was supposed to be dead a very long time ago with that evil court magician” a female voice interrupted the King from among the crowd and it was followed by loud cheers. The actions of the people of Zeclub made the King sore, King Onyx would have never imagined that one of his sons would be disapproved by the people, for in his heart he had bred the finest of men, though he couldn’t hide the fear that Jodan was going to be a problem but he had an optimist’s heart and wished that the younger Suzzac would find his own purpose and quit hunting after his brother’s right to the throne, a wish that didn’t come true. Swiftly the events of the Court magician’s execution came to his mind. Quen was King Onyx court magician and he was also Jodan’s accomplice in an attempt at his brother’s life, an attempt which turned futile and the magician took responsibility for. He remembered how he begged for the old man’s life to be spared, telling his father it was his life he attempted and Jodan was as guilty as he is and also the words his father told him,
“A man is a man, he doesn’t change, circumstances may fade his potential but the man would still remain and as long as Quen lives, our lives are all in jeopardy, you, I and even Jodan who he seem to favour” this words rang through the Suz and tears lick out the corner of his eyes, they were true not about the magician but for his brother.
“A man would always be a man,” he said to himself and now he understood why after several years Jodan still made an attempt on his life, his brother was born dark in the heart and nothing could change that.
Suddenly, the harsh sound of the gong startled him and this was followed by a loud voice roaring at the top of voice.
“Silence!” and everybody went quiet like it was an order, “The King still speaks!” the voice continued, it was that of a Zeclubian captain. Quickly, the Suz wiped the tears in his eyes and cleared his throat.
“Even in all these tragedies, Zeclub has been given a blessing, something that supersedes all the traumas.” At these words, his face glowed with a smile and the priestess stepped forward with the pink woolly bundle of blankets in her arms. The Suz took it from the Queen Mother and raised it before the throng.
“Dear people of great Zeclub here behold your Suzzac, Nacalitus of Zeclub” he shouted from the excitement in his heart at the sight of his Son. For a while, the palace ground fell into serenity like they didn’t hear the Suz words. They heard but it was too incredible for their mortal hearts to believe. Suddenly there were loud cheers from amidst the throng and quickly, it spread through the crowd, in a matter of time the whole palace rang with cheers of excitement.
It was a happy ending to a very sad day; tears of sadness and pain were replaced with that of joy and a hope for a better future. Destiny has an inscrutable way of sprouting buds of happiness when we believe our hopes are lost, we see our life like it’s meant for the Hangman and all of a sudden its ours again with a radiant prospect, once again we feel alive. And when mortals believe solely in this beautiful thing called ‘Hope’, they would ascend to a level where impossibilities fade away, a level where man becomes a god. Later that day Jodan was buried and words of his departure was sent to his family in the outskirts of Ecclesia along with a plead from the Suz for them to come back home to Zeclub but his messengers never found the Suzzac’s family neither did they find anyone who knew them.
“What? Father he had no family?” Princess mozzarella asked, quite surprised at her father’s words. “So what was he doing all those nineteen years in Ecclesia?”
“He spent all those years trying to amass an army large enough to bring his brother down” the old man replied with a pitiful stare, “What a waste of purpose and an entire lifetime.”
“Jodan never learnt his lesson alive, he took his ignorance with him to the grave.” the princess said and shook her head in pity for her uncle, she took a stare at Sud and he had an emotional look on his face too.
“Now that is a lot of story about King Bdollium, Jodan and Su Kus. With the death of the Suzzac, an era ended and another started, the era of the Nacalitus.