On the Evil Scale: Keeper of La Tecla (The Key) Book Two

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๐’ž๐’ฝ๐’ถ๐“…๐“‰๐‘’๐“‡ ๐Ÿค6

๐’ชver the next few days, things progressed smoothly with a few minor outbursts from the Lycynian community, but they were beginning to get accustomed to the food cutbacks. Surprisingly enough, Leonus kept his distance; working at the blacksmithโ€™s shop with Leonard, aiding him and his apprentices, forging and melding new weaponry, or crafting metal armor. He was, in spite of his demeanor, a very talented craftsman. The leather makers too, had been busy cutting, shaping and lining metal armor; warriors including Sarah and I, lined up outside for fittings, making sure the armor was properly stitched, and lined with thin layers of chain mail, as well as displaying enough studded detailing.

Since war inevitably was approaching for the first time, I found out the Isle had its own personal armory located beneath the blacksmithโ€™s shop. Leonard escorted me to the basement of the shop where swords, spears, axes and maces, bow arrow sets, shields and other weaponry lined the walls. Each piece looked as if freshly forged as their blades glistened off the dim light shining from above.

โ€œAnd no one thought of telling me about this sooner?โ€ I admired each weapon categorized amongst their forge and make.

โ€œWell, this was something Marxus didnโ€™t tell anyone about really. I only know about it because I accidentally came across it when I first arrived here and took over the shop.โ€ Leonard revealed as he walked over, removing a sword from its place, โ€œI donโ€™t think even Leonus knows about this.โ€

โ€œLetโ€™s hope not.โ€ I grinned, โ€œBut this makes things much easier for now I donโ€™t have to worry about supplying everyone with new weapons.โ€ then my gaze focused toward a door along the rear of the wall hidden in the shadows, โ€œAnd that? Where does that go?โ€

โ€œThat, uhโ€ฆโ€ Leonard stood in my path toward the door, โ€œpersonal forges of mine that I donโ€™t want anyone looking at. You understand?โ€

I squinted my eyes, wondering why the blacksmith wouldnโ€™t want me seeing whatโ€™s on the other side of the door.

โ€œLeonard...whatโ€™s back there?โ€ I pestered. โ€œMore secrets?โ€

โ€œPlease, love...another time, yes?โ€ he urged, โ€œPerhaps, when I feel the moment is best, which isnโ€™t now. And for your own good, I wouldnโ€™t tamper with that lock either for there isnโ€™t one. Not really.โ€ he winked.

I then pondered if maybe this was that damn mimic again, taking Leonard's persona this time.

โ€œYza!โ€ a voice called out my name before I could question the manโ€™s riddle.

โ€œYouโ€™re needed above ground, love so come on.โ€ he gently turned me around leading me upstairs where Wyatt and Nick stood needing my assistance with something.

All warriors had been training extensively; getting ourselves into shape and the frame of mind for war. Fellow warriors had offered their techniques, teaching me new things I hadnโ€™t learned from Shung-Lee. All the purebloods stood gathered amongst themselves, practicing new arts they read about in the books from the library; ones of which even some of the Isles half-breeds were able to perform. I joined them and what a relief it was to be among my own kind. Erik appeared and when wanting to speak with him, he dismissed the request and when glancing in Anthony and Thomasโ€™ direction, the Italian lover smiled. I returned the smile then glanced away shyly. Shaking my head, I asked the purebloods and half-breeds to teach me more of what they knew for many were older than I couldโ€™ve guessed. Yes, there were women among the warriors but when it came to the oncoming war, Iโ€™d have them protect our families and senior residents that would be hidden. I didnโ€™t feel that the battlefield was right for them. Where? I donโ€™t know but weโ€™ll get there when we get there. They agreed to the instructions without a fuss, so at least I know my mother and everyone else would be in good protective hands. I took a break from both arcane and physical training; I sat beneath one of the largest trees watching as the warriors engaged in sparring and practice. The archers stood in groups aiming their arrows at the targets. Sarah stood in front, being one of the Isles best archers as she never missed her mark. She occasionally did fancy twirls but her aim was always accurate; something the other archers couldnโ€™t replicate for each warrior has their own technique or special move.

She glanced around the training yard watching as Jon threw dagger-after-dagger with such swiftness that you couldnโ€™t even see the blades flying through the air. She bit her lower lip then excused herself from her fellow archers. Returning her bow and quiver to the cabinet, she scampered across the yard toward the tree where her friend sat beneath the shade.

โ€œHeyโ€ฆโ€ she smiled, โ€œyouโ€™re done training already?โ€ she sat next to me.

โ€œFor now.โ€ I answered, โ€œRight now, Iโ€™m just watching all our skilled men and women reveal their skills. I never could have guessed there were so many.โ€

โ€œNeither could I.โ€

โ€œHey, you were amazing out there.โ€ I paid her an honest compliment.

โ€œReally?โ€ she seemed shocked by my words, โ€œYou think so? Thanks.โ€

โ€œYes, Sarah.โ€ I nodded, โ€œAnd Jonathan too, I mean...look at him!โ€ I veered my gaze toward watching as he too, displayed personal twists, turns and even occasional flips along the ground before throwing his blades, โ€œHeโ€™s incredible.โ€ my eyes continued watching everyone else.

โ€œYou and the other half-breeds practiced your arcane magics, huh?โ€ she combed her hair back.

โ€œOf course.โ€ I admitted proudly, โ€œAlthough, itโ€™s a bit difficult for none of them can grasp the fact that Iโ€™m a natural Pyro. Some of them surely can manipulate fire like average Pyrokinetics butโ€ฆโ€ I looked at her taking notice of boredom hidden behind her blue eyes, โ€œnever mind. Itโ€™s too complicated. Um, Sarah...can you tell me about your uncle?โ€

โ€œWhat do you mean? Heโ€™s the blacksmith.โ€ she leaned against the large tree trunk.

โ€œI know that, but do you know anything about his past or what he did before he moved to the Isle with you and Nathan?โ€ I wondered curiously.


โ€œNevermind. Donโ€™t worry about it. Iโ€™ll find out.โ€ I broke my gaze, โ€œAnyway, Iโ€™m done for the day so what are your plans for the rest of yours?โ€

โ€œBloody hell, I donโ€™t know. Jonathan and I might have something, I donโ€™t know.โ€ she shrugged, โ€œBut I think Iโ€™ll go to the library and read about archers from history.โ€ she smiled.

โ€œYou were fantastic, Sarah...you really were.โ€ I knelt on my knees then stood, strolling across the field toward the dwelling; Zanz and Abraxas following after. After showering, I returned the study to handle further inventory paperwork. Using the PC to complete the checklist and fulfilling the orders, I felt accomplished that that task was out of the way and far from distraction. Taking a break laying my glasses on the desk, I realized that in all my preparations, I should contact Nikolaas and Steven, to fill them in on whatโ€™s taking place. I reached into the right drawer retrieving a pen and paper, beginning to write out a note then realized I could call, saving the time of a messenger Raven. Knowing they probably didnโ€™t have the updated future tech, I used the older phone on the desk alongside the PC. Counting the beeps of the call through, I waited when Steven suddenly answered the phone.

โ€œHello, love. What can I help you with? Not another blood shortage, I hope?โ€

โ€œNo, noโ€ฆmy Wraiths are well fed, thank you.โ€ I replied, โ€œHowever, this isnโ€™t a social call. May I speak to Nikolaas, if heโ€™s available? Itโ€™s important. Both of you should hear this, actually.โ€

โ€œOf course. Just a moment.โ€ and laying the phone on the bar he turned, walking toward the back room, knocking on Nikolaasโ€™ office door.

Nikolaas quickly walked over, answering the door.

โ€œYes?โ€ he snapped in an agitated tone.

โ€œThe young Keeper is on the phone.โ€ Steven replied, โ€œSays itโ€™s important and wants to speak with the both of us.โ€

โ€œReally?โ€ he said curiously stepping aside allowing Steven to enter, โ€œIโ€™ll take the call here.โ€ he closed the door, returning to his desk. He reached over picking up the phone, placing it on speaker, โ€œHello, Yzavelaโ€ฆthis is Nikolaas. Steven is here with me and says itโ€™s important. Whatโ€™s taking place?โ€

โ€œIโ€™m sorry if I worried you, butโ€ฆโ€

โ€œHello?โ€ Nikolaasโ€™ voice called out as if our connection wasnโ€™t linked.

โ€œHello? Nikolaas? Can you hear me?โ€ I tapped the phone.

โ€œIf you can...me...I have news...the Great...invasionโ€ฆโ€ a womanโ€™s voice spoke in broken sentences before the connection faded out completely.

Steven leaned forward, tapping the phone roughly before Nikolaas reached out, grabbing hold of his friendโ€™s hand, removing it from the device.

โ€œBreaking it, Steven...wonโ€™t fix it.โ€ Nikolaas mocked bluntly, โ€œSo if anyoneโ€™s going to break this piece of sh*tty human technology, itโ€™ll be me.โ€ he grinned then clenched his fists; the phone crushing within itself becoming nothing more than a pile of plastic gadgetry, โ€œThere.โ€

Steven returned the grin as he walked around the desk, sitting across from the Hungarian Demon. Fiddling with a piece of wood he felt could provide a splinter, he frowned worrying about the young womanโ€™s concern and words, despite being broken.

โ€œWhat do you think she was trying to say? I meanโ€ฆโ€ he leaned forward, โ€œthe word invasion isnโ€™t a word used lightly. Not from anyoneโ€™s lips.โ€

โ€œI donโ€™t know.โ€ Nikolaas rested his elbows on the arms of his Gothic chair.

โ€œI can try the phone behind the bar. See if that goes through?โ€ Steven suggested.

โ€œGo.โ€ Nikolaas advised firmly, โ€œWe need to know what she knows or what she was trying to tell us.โ€ he stood, as did Steven and together, they exited the office descending the narrow staircase downstairs; Roberto worked behind the bar serving drinks to Penrithโ€™s Demon and human patrons.

Steven scampered around behind the bar, ignoring the requests for drinks and refills. Growing agitated, he released a guttural hiss. Observing as his red eyes, fangs and one inch nails extended as he slammed his hands on the counter, the figures at the bar backed away, taking their empty glasses to tables away from the bar. Raising his left eyebrow he reached for the phone but it too, failed to make the connection. Slamming the phone, he broke the old contraption.

โ€œAnd you tell me to watch and control my temper.โ€ Nikolaas observed, leaning against the frame with his arms folded.

โ€œYou think youโ€™re so funny?โ€ Steven leaned his hands on the counter, watching as Nikolaas smirked.

โ€œยฟQue esta pasando? What happened?โ€ Roberto inquired as he approached his friends, flipping a towel over his shoulder after wiping his hands.

Steven and Nikolaas relayed the events; Roberto grew worried for he wondered what was to come.

โ€œSh*t!โ€ I cursed, having to write the message by hand after all. Staring at the page, I thought maybe I could reach out telepathically but the distance between the Hungarian pureblood and I was too far. I may be a half-breed learning new skills and abilities everyday, but Iโ€™m not a super-wonder woman. I know my limits. Sighing, I began writing it out and examining the words, rereading them making sure I got my point across, I folded the parchment placing it in a large padded yellow envelope along with one I-pad, 3 radio-phones and 3 watches. Once sealed and taped, I wrote Nikolaas and Stevenโ€™s names on it for they were whom I dealt business with. Knowing the time for this package to get to the mainland would take longer than expected, I thought of a messenger Raven but due to its weight, I needed something stronger and slightly larger than one of the Isleโ€™s black birds. I glanced at Abraxas who sat quietly perched on Marxusโ€™ red velvet settee.

โ€œAbraxasโ€ฆcome here, please?โ€ I called out softly.

He flew from the settee landing in my lap as I leaned back in the chair.

โ€œYes, Mother?โ€ he inquired telepathically, โ€œWhat do you need?โ€

โ€œStay out of my head, little one.โ€ I stroked the scales under his chin, โ€œBut I do need you...to take this envelope to Steven and Nikolaas in Penrith on the mainland. You remember where that is, right?โ€

โ€œYes, Mother. I do.โ€ he nodded as he carefully climbed onto the desk reaching for the envelope with one of his feet, โ€œIโ€™ll return safely and swiftly, donโ€™t worry.โ€

His sweet voice held such innocence and it touched my heart.

โ€œIโ€™ll always worry.โ€ I turned the chair toward the balcony doors then stood, opening them. Abraxas crawled from the desk onto the chair then up my right shoulder, affectionately nudging my face releasing low roars. I returned the affection; kissing his soft scaled snout. Afterwards, I launched him into the air like a Hunterโ€™s Hawk, flapping his wings. He took off at an incredible speed and flying higher, he vanished from sight in a swift blur outward toward the mainland, โ€œOh god, please be careful.โ€ I worried.

Nikolaas grew disappointed that he couldnโ€™t reach the Keeper, but assumed sheโ€™d send a messenger Raven so he left his office window open, while helping Steven and Roberto behind the bar downstairs. Once customers were served food and drink, they wiped down the counter when an abrupt loud boom crashed from the upstairs office. Saying nothing, the Wraiths and Demon dropped their rags as they sped toward the office. Swinging the door open, the three of them stood in the doorway, observing a small dragon sitting on the desk; in place of a valuable antique lamp Nikolaasโ€™ wife had purchased. The three of them just looked at each other speechless, wondering how the creature flew and arrived so quickly, since it was barely 10 minutes since Nikolaas and Steven spoke to the young half-breed. Cursing in words under his breath, Nikolaas muttered as he glanced down at the lamp that lay shattered on the floor. Raising his gaze, his eyes focused on the small dragon, taking notice he had a delivery. Never seeing such a creature in his existence, he cautiously approached, speaking softly as he held his hands out,

โ€œEasy there...easy, little beastie...โ€

Steven and Roberto watched as the dragon lowered his head, releasing an envelope from its clawed foot, onto the desk.

โ€œIโ€™m not a beastie, Demon!โ€ the small dragon spoke verbally without moving his lips, shocking the figures standing before him, โ€œI...am a Zyphyn! The only one left of my kind!โ€ he declared proudly and stretching out his massive wings revealing his magnificence, he roared before exiting the shattered window, sending further shattered pieces to the ground among the others.

Nikolaas sped forward in a thick blur toward the window, searching the skies for the dragonsโ€™ form but it was nowhere. Turning to Steven and Roberto, he muttered as he approached his desk, picking up the envelope which displayed claw marks that luckily didnโ€™t puncture the surface,

โ€œHave either of you seen such a strange beast?โ€

โ€œNo.โ€ Roberto mumbled.

โ€œCanโ€™t say I have either.โ€ Steven added, picking up the remnants of the lamp, โ€œBut if I were to guessโ€ฆIโ€™d say that was the half-breedโ€™s dragon. Beautiful little creature, though.โ€

โ€œI thought dragons were extinct.โ€ Roberto added.

โ€œAnd it would have been, if it hadnโ€™t flown off. Look what it did to my lamp. Couldnโ€™t she have sent a Demon?โ€ Nikolaas pondered solemnly.

โ€œI can fix it.โ€ Steven added, โ€œBesides, she has her reasons for doing things so this wouldnโ€™t be any different.โ€

โ€œNo. Just...leave it. Itโ€™s gone along with everything else that belonged toโ€ฆโ€ Nikolaas whispered, โ€œjust throw it away, Steven. Now, leave meโ€ฆโ€ he dismissed his friends, feeling the weight of its contents.

Steven and Roberto nodded, exiting the office. Nikolaas leaned against the ledge of his desk, opening the envelope with an antique letter opener. Laying the I-pad, phones and watches on the desk, he unfolded the letter reading words written in a feminine hand:

โ€œHi, Nikolaas;

Sorry for the previous cutoff but as I was trying to say, the island is gathering weapons, warriors and armor. I received a letter from a friend in the Great City and the report wasnโ€™t good news. Iโ€™ve enclosed a copy of it so you and the others can read it. Nikolaas, I feel something is coming and very soon. The report says itโ€™s beginning to spread further from the border of the Great City into smaller towns and cities. Iโ€™m worried it could come your way so I thought you should know so that you too, can prepare. Trust me when I say that Lord Drakuul, General Matrx and their legions work faster than anyone can expect. Now, if you need anything, you and your township are more than welcomed here. Iโ€™ll alert the guards at Heyshamโ€™s harbor and those here on the island to keep a lookout in case of any emergencies. Moving on. The contents enclosed will be of use to you, Steven and Roberto. I wrote out instructions on how they operate and I hope you find them useful. By the way, in case heโ€™s still there while youโ€™re reading this, donโ€™t touch my dragon if you want to keep your hand and if he speaks, donโ€™t freak out. He does that.


He smiled, laying the note on his desk then read the copy of the note that was attached. He frowned, growing concerned about the contents. Lowering the parchments on the desk, he reached for the instructions pertaining to devices. Figuring out the phone and watches rather easily, he placed one of the watches on his left wrist, then tucked the I-pad in his drawer and carried the other two watches and three radio-phones, giving one each to Roberto and Steven. They too, tucked the phones in their pockets and watches on their wrists then returned to work but as Nikolaas sat in the nearest booth hidden in shadow, he tapped his right hand atop the table, watching as his friends engaged in a moment of laughter as they teased one another. He grinned, remembering when they had all met after his wife was murdered. Steven and Roberto had become his family, caring about one another as brothers. Nothing more for none of them had intentions otherwise.

He stood, withdrawing back into his office, removing the I-pad from his drawer beginning to set up his account profile which for him, was more difficult than figuring out the other small gadgets. Even with the instructions, he wasnโ€™t too familiar in dealing with or operating futuristic technology, so he called Roberto and Steven into his office, helping him complete the set up.

Abraxas returned, surprising me in his instant appearance; similar to that of the Wraiths.

โ€œI see youโ€™ve learned another skill.โ€ I observed proudly, holding him as he wrapped his wings around his body.

โ€œIndeed I have.โ€ Abraxas answered verbally as he closed his eyes.

The PC beeped, alerting me I had an incoming call. Abraxas laid in my lap, while I answered the call. Appearing on the screen, were three of my Penrith acquaintances with worry in their eyes.

โ€œI see youโ€™ve learned to use the gadgets already.โ€ I smiled quickly, placing Abraxas on the back of my chair, โ€œNow, shall we continue?โ€

โ€œYesโ€ฆplease.โ€ Nikolaas urged.

โ€œYzavela, whatโ€™s happening!?โ€ Roberto added, โ€œSteven and I read your letter, but thatโ€™s not enough to go by.โ€

โ€œAre our people in danger? Is Penrith on their route!?โ€ Steven questioned eagerly.

I understood their concerns, explaining ALL I knew and revealing my preparations in further detail.

โ€œI suggest you do the same and prepare, because none of us know whatโ€™s coming.โ€ I offered my advice solemnly, โ€œAs my letter stated, you have a place here.โ€ I smiled comfortably.

โ€œThank you. We will let our people know whatโ€™s taking place, as soon as possible.โ€ Nikolaas added, โ€œMany here have loved ones scattered near or in the Great City as well, so again, thank you.โ€

โ€œNo worries. Take care.โ€ I studied the three faces, โ€œAnd by the way, my dragon didnโ€™t break anything important or valuable, did he?โ€ I pondered curiously.

Nikolaas raised his right eyebrow and his expression said it all.

โ€œJust a lamp.โ€ Steven added as he came into view.

โ€œAnd one that belonged to Nikโ€™s wife too!โ€ Robertoโ€™s face peeked onto my screen.

โ€œIโ€™m right here and Iโ€™m perfectly capable of speaking for myself!โ€ Nikolaas clenched his fists as his red Demon eyes revealed themselves.

โ€œHey...um, calm down!โ€ my voice interrupted the spit-spat between the Wraiths and pureblood, โ€œIโ€™m sorry to hear that.โ€ I continued as I glanced down at Abraxas who innocently turned his head away in shame for he knew he shattered the item.

โ€œItโ€™s alright. Donโ€™t worry about it.โ€ Nikolaas flashed a false grin, โ€œThank you again for alerting us. Weโ€™ll be in touch if needed. And to you , little beastieโ€ฆโ€ he leaned forward as his face grew closer to the screen; Abraxas raised his head to observe the Hungarianโ€™s leering gaze, โ€œit was an unpleasure-pleasure meeting you.โ€

โ€œAnd you.โ€ Abraxas answered, nodding his head in respect.

Nikolaas grinned then leaned back, ending the call; the screen flashing CALL ENDED over and over until it turned black from powering down.

I leaned back in the chair, feeling its weight push back too far; toppling backwards. I fell off the seat while Abraxas shrieked; hovering in the air. I laughed once landing on the floor because I found the moment humorous. Zanz scampered over, sniffing around making sure I wasnโ€™t injured. He gave a quick lick to my cheek then sat beside the desk while I examined the chair, knowing I now needed a new one. I shook my head as I stood, pushing the chair aside. Abraxas landed on the desk, releasing snorts that attempted to be laughter. I placed my hands on my hips, watching as his head bobbed, releasing these snort-like chuckles.

โ€œYouโ€™re laughing now?โ€ I teased, โ€œAnd you think thatโ€™s funny do you?โ€

โ€œYes, Mother.โ€ he answered verbally, โ€œI do. It was.โ€ he continued snorting.

โ€œI suppose it was.โ€ I added through my laughter, โ€œCome on...more preparations to make.โ€

Nikolaas rested his elbows on his desk; both hands up to his face becoming filled with worry for the first time in a century. Steven and Roberto stood along the wall of the office, leaning between portraits. They exchanged worried expressions, remaining silent before stepping toward Nikolaas, who sat solemnly in his office chair. He stood and the three of them embraced in a masculine brotherly-hug then pulled away, pushing the affection from thought. Nikolaas stepped between his two friends, placing his hands on their shoulders. They had a lot to do and little time to do it.
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