Challenge Two

Evelyn’s eyes were locked on the glowing sword, not knowing whether to laugh or cry.  So many years spent in looking for it, while it had lain right under her nose!  She looked at the boy staring at her in disbelief, completely unaware of what he held in his hand.  She looked into his eyes, mesmerising him.

Damien found himself looking straight into her eyes, entranced and unable to move a single muscle in his body.  The eyes were the colour of the ocean, and he felt as if he was being pulled into them.  They were shimmering near the edges... He glimpsed a vast plain land, but the vision was gone with a blink of his eye.  His pulse raced, and so did the throbbing of his sword.  The golden haired girl took a step towards him and he couldn’t feel his legs to bid them to move.  Now he understood how it felt to be the prey of a python.  You looked into its majestic eyes, knowing you were going to die, but didn’t dare to look away.  The girl brought her right hand forward and pressed the back of her fingers against his forehead, studying his pupils.

Damien felt a slight nudge, though he couldn’t pinpoint where actually.  It felt as if his consciousness had been transformed into a physical protective envelope around him, and someone was touching it gently to ask for permission before breaching it.  This was what he felt, while what he found himself helplessly staring at were those eyes.  They closed for just a little more time than a blink, and a wave of calm assurance flooded into his mind.  His envelope disappeared, and whatever had been prodding it entered him.  His vision flickered, and then it went pitch black.

Evelyn saw his pupils dilate and immediately made her memories flow into him.  She could barely restrain them inside herself, now that she had found the sword.  The First Sword of the Elves would now return where it belonged.

When the darkness dissolved into light, Damien found himself looking at the same vast plain land rolling out in every direction which he had glimpsed a few seconds ago.  Or had it been a lifetime since then?  There were no signs of settlement for as far as the eye could see, only plain grassy land and small shrubs growing here and there. A vague memory told him he was in a summer palace, where the Elf King and Queen came to spend the summer when it became hot after spring.  The palace was in a cold region at the edge of the Elvish Kingdom, where only the Royal family was allowed to breach the magical gates guarding space and time.

“There you are, Princess Evelyn.  I have been looking everywhere for you.”  A hoarse voice sounded behind his back.

Damien felt the vision whip around so swiftly he couldn’t believe he had ever turned his head that fast.  An old balding man, clad in a red gown with golden embroidery on the chest stood in front of him.  He was at least a head taller than himself.  But even his body felt different.

He took a step back, feeling afraid for some reason.

“Please Lord Rougar, you know I can’t do it!”   He felt his mouth open, and a female voice came out.  He realised his hands were gripping the hilt of his sword, and he could tell without looking that his fingers were wrapped around a leaf carved into it.  A single tear rolled down his cheek, and painful memories of watching a loved one being murdered crashed into his mind.  “Papa!”

He couldn’t explain why a female voice from his mouth was speaking.

“Your father died, Princess Evelyn.  So will you, if you try to keep the sword away from me.  Give it to me now, I deserve it as your father's younger brother.  I shall inherit it by right.”

Damien realised he had been looking at the land from the edge of a balcony not less than fifty feet above the ground, attached to a bedchamber he vaguely understood was his.  The man took a hasty step forward and grabbed the scabbard with his hand, looking at him with madness in his eyes.

“Give it to me.”

“I won’t!”  Someone else's memories of watching this man murder the King, while hiding in a closet in the royal bedchamber flooded his mind.  He hardly heard the words leave his mouth when he felt the sword being snatched away.  Three heartbeats later,  a fork of lightning erupted in the sky, flashed towards Lord Rougar and he disappeared with it.  The sword was gone too. 

For a split second deafening silence reigned; then the land began to tremble.  An earthquake had begun, just like it had been prophecised to happen if the sword was forcefully taken away, and Damien stood helplessly on the balcony of a palace enchanted to stand against all forces of nature, watching the cataclysm unfold.  Cracks appeared in the ground below, ending just a few feet short of reaching the palace's enchanted walls where the elves' deep magic stopped it from harming the structure.  The land in front caved in with a tremendous rumble and sank down like a stone into water, as if there had been nothing but nothingness beneath it.  All of a sudden the land lurched forward, throwing up a cloud of dust that slowly made it impossible to see what was happening.  Around him, destruction roared as the tremor wreaked havoc and destroyed everything in its path.  He closed his eyes as uncontrolled drops of sorrow escaped him, while another consciousness inside his mind was feeling unsure whether the pre-destined devastation would ever end, or if it was meant to go on forever. 

When it did, it became so quiet that the silence became painful to the ears.  The cloud of dust settled slowly, and what he saw made him gasp.  He stood so far above the ground now that the land merely looked like a crumpled blanket, having been left behind at an unimaginable depth.  Around him, there was nothing but air.  On the left and the right stood the enchanted land that couldn’t be harmed, but even the spells hadn’t managed to quell the wave of ruin completely and there were now crests and deep troughs in place of uniform land.  Two hundred kilometres below the surface, ginormous structures called tectonic plates millions of years later by a race called humans collided against each other and pushed upwards.  The First Sword of Elves wreaked havoc, pushing the plates with such strength as was born when the universe was created, moving them so swiftly that folding continued as time flowed.

His vision flickered suddenly, and he found himself standing in the middle of nowhere- with absolute blackness all around.  The golden haired girl appeared in front of him slowly, like mist clearing away and a tree becoming more visible with each passing second.  He pulled his eyes away quickly, because she had appeared stark naked in front of him.

“You saw what happened through my eyes, Damien, something that happened no less than an era ago.  See through your own that I mean no harm, and am completely unarmed.  You have to give the sword to me willingly, because I can’t take it by force.  You have to give it to me, because if I take it by force your homeland will face the same destruction.  And I will take it, because I have no choice.  I have travelled through time to take it back, and I want you to give it to me.”

Evelyn waited for a response, and it came very soon.

“I’m sorry for your father.”  He spoke, still not looking at her.

Tears brimmed in her eyes after reliving the memories in more vivid detail than she had allowed Damien to see, and she was not sure why sympathy from a human was affecting her so deeply.  When reality came back to existence, Damien found himself back in his body, looking through his own eyes into hers.

“You are an elf.”  He spoke to himself, the only unbelievable thought he voiced apart from a million others in his mind.  Like the one thought that told him he had been in her body and standing on a structure atop Haroun’s Peak, the highest mountain in the entire range which no one had ever dared to climb.  And the land which he had seen sinking into the ground was what he knew as his part of the universe- the valley of Javidan.  He felt dizzy, and when Evelyn’s voice reached his ears, the words only quickened his falling into unconsciousness.  It had said- “So are you.” 

The End

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