Chapter 14: The Journey Begins
A howl came, then another. They were strange howls, not angry but surprised. The companions watched as the Wild Wolves emerged from the trees, shaking their animal heads and looking confused. One large creature approached, shivering – but not from the cold.
In the moonlight, Jack watched as the wolf raised its face. The terrible anger was gone. The eyes no longer shone with a hunger. Now brown and peaceful, the wolf looked at Jack, then Evooku, before bowing its head.
Jack glanced at Jasyra, who shrugged. He laid his hand on the great beast’s neck. Its fur was soft and cold to the touch.
The wolf raised its head with soft humming noise and, after sharing a look with its fellows, sat down.
“Now that Lycanthor is gone, the Demon King’s curse must have been lifted from the Great Forest.” said Jasyra.
Evooku grinned and clapped his hands. The wolves wandered closer and a few began to play, clearly enjoying their return to normality after being ruled by the werewolf.
Evooku walked over to the shattered tower. Beams of light from the full moon shone down on the rubble, which he picked at silently. Jack joined him, aware of why they had travelled so far and fought so bravely. Jasyra watched, biting her lip as if she didn’t dare to hope. After a while, Evooku stopped. There before them was what looked like a piece of bright red fabric. Jasyra gently pushed Jack and Evooku aside, and unravelled it. No-one breathed. When the last corner of fabric was unwrapped, Jack stared in awe.
There before them, lying still on the ruby cloth, was a glimmering shard of metal. He knew what it was immediately. It was a piece of the Dragon Fyre Blade.
Carefully, Jasyra lifted the shard. It sparkled with a faint glow of violet flame dancing around its edges.
“On my name!” Jasyra cried, “I will not rest till I have found all the pieces of the Dragon Fyre Blade and avenged my father. I will battle the Demon Emperor and free our land of tyranny!”
The wolves howled out in unison, startling Jack.
“Will you help me, Jack?” asked Jasyra, tears streaming down her cheeks. “It will be dangerous but we must retrieve the remaining pieces of the blade.”
Jack thought about it. He’d nearly died many times already, he’d faced up to scary beasts, met ghosts and even fought a werewolf! He was far from home and all he wanted to do was curl up in bed with a mug of hot chocolate at Aunt Alberta’s.
But, looking at Jasyra’s tears, he knew there was a more important goal. These people who had put their lives at risk needed his help. And as the ghostly lady had said, only one not of this world could help.
“Yes.” he said, “Of course. I will help you!”
He reached out and touched the metal of the Dragon Fyre Blade, feeling it pulse with energy. Evooku patted him on the shoulder with a grin.
“We’d better be on our way.” said Jasyra, wiping her cheeks. “The second shard is lost in the Cloudy Mountains.”
Jack and Evooku looked south, where mountains rose in the distance. As dawn’s light rose, the three friends marched on.