Drake (Book 1)

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[15]-Four horsemen

Hampshire

4:00 p.m.

The bishop’s words boomed in his head with a vicious cycle of hatred. He found it hard to focus on Lyn as he watched her recite her dance. She was flawless. It seemed as if she danced on air the way she spun and twirled on her toes. She wore a thin black leotard with white leggings that showcased her athletic body. Tape wrapped itself around her ankles to include her toes. The paneled mirrors attached to the walls and ceiling mimicked the movement of every dancer. They kept in perfect synchronization with the smoothe classical music in the background.

A smile tugged at his lips. “That’s my girl…”

Lyn caught his gaze. She hadn’t realized he was sitting there yet in the front row. She wore a wide smile and then broke his gaze as she spun on her toes. Then he heard rain in his head with a powerful clap of thunder. He pictured the bishop in his head, a man in crimson robes with long sharp nails. His teeth looked like that of the shark and his eyes resembled a snake.

That’s right, it rained that day…

The bishop stood at the steps of the cathedral as he spoke to the many crusaders. Drake stood towards the front of the formation. Rain soaked his chain mail and white robes. He wore a bright red cross on his robes and heavy spurs clung to the heels of his boots. His helmet resembled an iron rose. Lightning snapped like a whip and it became dark again. The wind howled.

“YOUR IMMACULATE FATHER, ABSOLVES YOU OF ALL YOUR SINS!” the bishop boomed.

Drake made a face. He looked over his shoulder as whispers filled the crowd. His face was deeply skeptical as were the other knights. A group of knights exchanged glances.

“Is it true that he can absolve us of all our sins?”

“Would a bishop lie?”

The murmuring continued.

Drake turned to the bishop. He was the archbishop to be exact. The holiest man in Europe, second only to the pope. Sent from the Vatican himself, his blessing was needed to start this crusade. Guarding him were four knights. One wore a white robe with a crown and carried a bow. The other wore red robes and carried a great sword. The third knight wore black robes and carried a balance scale in one hand. And the final knight resembled a skeleton. He was thin with blank sunken eyes and wore tattered gray robes. He carried a scythe.

“Drake? Drake?”

He shook his head. Lyn stood before him, waving a hand across his face. He stood up.

“Are you okay?” she asked.

“Yeah… I’m fine-”

Lyn made a face. “You weren’t even watching…”

She turned away and started walking. Drake grabbed her arm and pulled her back. Her emerald eyes were fierce. “Why don’t we go grab a drink?” Drake suggested. “We can go to your favorite spot.”

He could see Lyn fighting her urge to smile. But her sly, girlish grin broke through. “Okay,” she said. “But I’m still mad at you.”

9:20 p.m.

Pavium stood on a platform overlooking the excavation site. They were just outside of Hampshire deep in the countryside. Small hamlets surrounded them with smoking chimneys. It was a dark and dreadful day. It reminded Pavium of that same day the bishop spoke before they went to war. The mere thought of Drake’s face made him squeeze his fists. Several cranes and heavy tractors worked tirelessly to excavate the ruins. The ruins were ten feet deep and were as long as they were wide.

A tractor scooped up its last mound of dirt. Within the excavation site remained a hidden tomb. Long since forgotten and erased from history as the builders had intended. Muddy water flooded the trenches of the tomb as rain poured without relent. Four coffins rested next to each other with the likeness of a knight carved on their lids. Steady beams from the tractors provided the only lights.

Satisfied, Pavium slipped on a blue poncho and jumped from the platform some twenty feet down. He splashed the water of the trenches as he landed. He sauntered over to the first tomb. Curious workers loomed into the trenches, their ponchos being soaked by rain. But Pavium didn’t mind. He waited a long time for this moment.

“Your source was spot on,” Pavium said.

A fierce gale blew away the hood of his poncho. To his left stood a man in a yellow raincoat. He couldn’t see his face, but curly locks of golden hair peaked from his hood. “We finally found it. The tomb of the four horsemen,” he said.

“Sullivan, are you sure through this tomb we’ll be able to locate Aspasia?”

Sullivan nodded. “Positive. But first, you know there’s something we have to do.”

Pavium raised a quizzical brow. “Which is?”

“Reanimate them…”

12:00 a.m.

The witch’s mill overlooked the entire countryside, only about a mile or so away from the excavation site. Four massive blades were once used to pump water and grind grain, but now stood idle. Despite this, they withstood the test of time and refused to founder. But Pavium didn’t come here to make the blades turn again... Seated at the top of the mill were two lightning rods connected to an archaic generator. With the help of his engineers and modern science, the generator once again became operational.

Now, it only needed something to channel the lightning’s power into the coffins. Pavium donned his golden gauntlets. Each of them weighed a ton with an assortment of jewels in their knuckles. He stood amid the top of the mill and raised a gauntlet while keeping the other on the generator. Sullivan watched along with the engineers from the inside of the mill. Lightning struck against the skyline. Each strike made its way closer to the mill.

Then a powerful bolt came upon him, turning night into day. Huge sparks flashed as Pavium directed its power into the generator. The generator then channeled it into the coffins. Pavium released his grip as the lightning faded away. His body was unscathed as he sauntered to the coffins. The rain started flying sideways.

He turned to Sullivan. “Did it work-?”

Sullivan pointed behind him. The lid to the first coffin slid open, and a hand emerged. Flesh covered its bones as the corpse from within rose. The knight wore white robes and a metal crown. He was a handsome man with a thick beard and sincere black eyes. Rain slid off his pointed cheeks. He grabbed his bow and turned his head.

“Pavium?”

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