Sword Of Speed
Klaus arrived early to school for cross-country practice. He knew it would be crazy to be out running in this weather, but he needed to get faster to beat A.J. at the next meet. Klaus and A.J. have been rivals for as long as they can remember. Like many rivalries, this one started over a girl. Both boys have been showing off for June ever since they were in first grade. She never really paid either much attention, but it never stopped them from trying. While Klaus was changing in the locker room, he noticed a brick behind the edge of the lockers. He couldn’t see enough to read, so he tried to push the lockers away just enough to read it. As he struggled for several minutes, A.J. walked in and looked bewildered at Klaus.
“Is this some weird workout that you think is going to make you better than me?” A.J. said sarcastically.
“No, I don’t need anything to make me better than you. I was born that way!” exploded Klaus. “If you must know, I found some writing on the wall over here and I’m trying to figure out what it says.”
“It would help if you knew how to read. Do you want me to sound it out for you?” jabbed A.J.
“It is hidden behind these lockers. Can you just shut your pie hole for a second and help me move them?” pleaded Klaus.
The two boys worked together to move the lockers. They struggled for a few minutes but moved them enough to see the whole brick.
When two worlds collide, they shall learn to move as fluid as the tide.
Klaus thought to himself, “Talking about two worlds colliding, A.J.’s parents are big donors to the school, and he can choose whatever team he wants to be on. Meanwhile, I come from nothing, and I have been fighting tooth and nail to get on this team and earn my spot.”
A.J., talking a little softer, “Any idea what this is? I mean, why would this be in our locker room and hidden behind the lockers?”
“Well, Coach was here when they remodeled the locker room. I’m sure he saw it when they repainted it. Maybe he looked into it already.” answered Klaus.
The boys worked together, at least for the moment. They both were very curious about the engraving, plus they can go back to hating each other tomorrow.
They head to the coach’s office and find Coach Evan on the phone, trying to help get students home since school got canceled too late. It seems Coach was one of the few teachers that made it before getting the message.
After he got off the phone, the boys asked Coach Evan about the engraving. When Coach didn’t know what they were talking about, they took Coach into the locker room to show him.
“Fellas, I don’t know what you’re getting at but if you don’t get my lockers back where they go in the next two minutes, you will owe me an extra hour of workout time. Then again, maybe I’m working you too hard. I’ve got you seeing words that aren’t there...how about you boys take this morning off? Do you guys have a way to get home?”
A.J. quickly answered, “I have my Corvette out front!” just to rub it in Klaus’s face.
It backfired on A.J. when Coach asked him to give Klaus a ride home. The boys get changed and head out to the parking lot, arguing the entire time about what the stone might mean. They were so engrossed in their argument they didn’t even notice the group standing by the truck a few parking spots away.
Mr. Lee approached the boys and asked, “Hey, sorry to bother you, but we overheard you talking about some writing on the wall. We actually have similar moments; do you mind talking with us all for a minute?”
They all went inside the camper and sat to talk. A.B. told about her experience first, and then Eliza talked about hers next. Both Alioth and Aetos changed into their protector forms to help convince the boys.
“Wait, so we get to use a sword, fight bad guys, and hang out with some pretty awesome girls… where do I sign up!?” exclaimed A.J. with a little too much eagerness.
“Wow, classy as usual, but I will help, too. I always wanted to join the army and fight for my country. This sounds about on par for that.” stated Klaus as he looked at Kay, then looked away quickly.
Kay blushed and quickly looked at Annabeth, who smiled and made kissy faces at her. Kay’s face went from pink to red as she pushed A.B. away before anyone could see.
Remi began telling everyone, “The sword of speed will not be an easy one to bear. The goddess Nefere is quick and fierce. She will not hesitate to do what she needs to protect the Sword of Speed.”
As the others talked about their swords coming from a statue of their school mascots, the boys feared theirs might too. The only statue they can think of is out by the track and football field. It must stand 10 feet tall with the body of a horse and the torso of a beautiful lady holding a giant sword with a blade that looks almost Persian with its curves. The sword itself looked to be 3 feet long. It was more proportioned to the woman than to the mustang. Regardless, she looked like she was ready to stampede and battle.
“How do we get up there and get the sword and then get down before she bucks us off?” asked A.J.
Klaus was already climbing up the statue. All he could figure is grab it, jump, and try to roll down the hill with as little hurting as possible. A.J. immediately ran up and started climbing too, not to be outdone by Klaus. They both made it to the top and reached for the sword, releasing it from Nefere’s grip. Moving quickly caused them both to lose their footing, and they fell off the side of the statue. Somehow, they both moved quickly enough to run down the side and across the football field in a blink of an eye.
Confused, Klaus exclaimed, “What just happened? How did we go from there to here?”
Before anyone could even process what happened, Nefere ran down and kicked both boys 5 yards back. They laid there looking at each other, trying to figure out what kind of truck just hit them. Nefere moved like lightning. She would attack before anyone saw her move. The boys were flying all over the place and they were looking to be in terrible shape. Neither of them would help the other. They tried to attack on their own but could never land a single attack. The boys finally regroup and decide they need to work together again. As they attack, one moves in from the front, while the other comes in from the side. “Crack.” They landed their first hit. And then another. Finally, they were getting into a groove and Nefere could not keep up with both boys. She finally collapsed on the 50-yard line. She tried to stand, but her front legs wobbled, and she fell again.
Weakly, Nefere admitted, “You are too quick even for me. I am no match for you. The sword belongs to you if you work together. It only works when you put your differences aside and work as one. I would be honored if you would allow me to join you on your journey.”
As the group gathered by the flagpole, they knew things were only going to get tougher and even more dangerous from here. Mr. Lee and A.B. held hands and prayed. Slowly, everyone else joined in as they circled the flag. Mr. Lee started the prayer, and everyone took turns praying to help get them through what was coming their way. They knew it was going to take more than these swords to save everyone.
Mr. Lee pulled out his map of Renanne Providence and the group headed towards the Sword of Fire next. These last two swords will prove to be the most dangerous to take possession of. Remi informed everyone the Sword of Fire would be protected by a Dragon and the goddess of chaos, Eris would protect the Sword of Chaos. Remi is still trying to figure out how to get Eris on their side once she is defeated… if she is defeated.
Mr. Lee mapped out their route and decided going through the Canton Mountains would be the quickest way to get to Odsdale, the home of the next sword. It might be the quickest, but it would not be easy. The Canton Mountains are very perilous to those not familiar with navigating through them. There are creatures many talk about seeing when passing through, but most think they are just a legend. They were about to find out what lies ahead.