Chapter Twenty-Two

“Don’t do that Blaze!” Shouted Flora.

Blaze pulled the weapon away from Zedia and Flora and smiled smugly.

“Get a new staff Zed?” Asked Blaze.

“No, didn’t have time,” Replied Zedia.

“What?” Asked Blaze.

“Long story,” Replied Flora.

“Tell you later,” Finished Zedia.

“Look what else it does,” Said Blaze, holding up the sword, “Flame Staff!”

The sword suddenly started to glow a molten red colour, and then it suddenly reverted into a red coloured staff.

The bearded man took the staff and shouted “Flame Sword!”.

The staff morphed back into a sword while the man placed it handle first into a holder that was bolted onto the wall.

Zedia noticed two other swords, a green one and a purple one.

“Nice, aren’t they!” Laughed the bearded man, referring to the swords.

“Yes,” replied Zedia.

Daggerfork appeared from a door.

“Maraudus!” He exclaiming, holding up a giant wooden mallet, “Thanks f’ doin’ this f’ me!”

Maraudus smiled.

“Anything for an old friend Daggerfork,” He replied.

Daggerfork glanced over at the swords and started towards them. Maraudus suddenly jumped.

“What are you doing, Daggerfork?” He asked.

“I be giving t’ Master Wizard ‘is sword,” Daggerfork replied.

“Oh no you don’t! Unless Zerlin tells me to, those swords aren’t leaving the wall,” Maraudus’ tone had rapidly changed.

Daggerfork growled, and went back to Zedia.

“Zedia, time be passing. We have one more shop t’ visit. Then we’ll get Zerlin’s permission an’ give it t’ Maraudus, so we can get ye’ swords,”

“We get swords?” Blaze had only just caught.

“Yea, bu’ we ‘ave t’ hurry. It’s almost twenty t’ six,” Replied Daggerfork, who then gave Maraudus a dirty look and left the shop.

“I’m sorry children, but Daggerfork still hasn’t gotten used to the new rules,” Maraudus sighed.

New rules?” Asked Zedia.

“Yes,” Replied Maraudus, “He still thinks he can swan in here and give the swords straight to the Master Wizards…”

“Well why can’t he?” Asked Blaze.

“Well…” Maraudus was just about to explain, when the shop door burst open. Daggerfork’s bearded head appeared from behind it.

“Are ye’ comin’?” He growled, and slammed the door shut.

“Ask him yourself…” Replied Maraudus, and he disappeared into a door behind the counter.

 

++++++++++++

 

As the crowds on the high street got thicker, the group got hungrier.

Blaze’s hungry eyes scanned all of the shops, and eventually they fell upon a pub.

“Daggerfork?” Asked Blaze, clutching his rumbling stomach.

“Wha’” Growled Daggerfork.

Blaze was just about to withdraw his question, but had a wave of bravery and continued.

“Do you think that we could maybe go to that pub? Get a snack?”

Daggerfork grumbled for a moment and replied with a gruffly “yes,”

 

++++++++++++

 

The pub had a massive sign above the door:

 

'The Dragon Bones

 A Family Pub'

 

 From the look of the pub inside, you wouldn’t have guessed it was a family pub.

It was dark and dingy inside, with dusty tables and a grubby bartender who was rubbing glasses with a dirty rag.

The bartender suddenly perked up and ran out from behind the bar.

“Daggerfork!” He exclaimed, smiling, “How are you?”

Daggerfork smiled, the first smile he had emoted since leaving the weaponry, “Ras’kai! I be fine me lad, how be your wife?”

Ras’kai’s face dropped.

“Um, she sadly passed away last month…” He replied, a tear rolling down his face.

“I be sorry lad,” Daggerfork comforted.

Ras’kai wiped the tear from his face, and picked up his smile.

“What can I do you for?”

“A pint o’ ale f’ me, an’ some grub f’ t’ Master Wizard,” As he said this, he slapped Zedia on the back.

Ras’kai suddenly fell to his knees.

“Oh, Master!” He cried.

Zedia looked at Flora and Blaze and said,

“I could get used to this,” He smiled.

They sat down, and Ras’kai went behind the bar into the kitchen.

“Daggerfork…” Asked Zedia.

“What?” Snarled the angry dwarf.

“Why did Maraudus say you hadn’t gotten used to the ‘new’ rules?” Zedia said, emphasizing the word ‘new’.

“I dunno lad,” Daggerfork’s tone had suddenly changed, “Maraudus be one o’ me greatest friends, but e’s changed the rules-”

“Rules for what?” Zedia interrupted, expecting Daggerfork to lash out at him, but Daggerfork stayed calm and continued talking.

“Maraudus’ shop ‘olds the Three Staffs,” Blaze’s mouth opened as Daggerfork said this, but closed quickly, “The Three Staffs be what t’ Master Wizard takes wit’ ‘im on ‘is Quest, the other two bein’ f’ ‘is companions,”

“Oh,” Blaze replied, “So why won’t Maraudus let us have them?”

“’Cause ‘es a’ idiot,” Said Daggerfork, “e don’t understan’ how importan’ this Quest is f’ Kandrakah, so ‘e won’t let me ‘ave the Staffs wi’out Zerlin’s admission,”

“Why not?” Asked Zedia.

“I dunno lad,”

The conversation had ended, so it was lucky that Ras’kai brought the meals over.

“Three hotpots, and a pint of ale for you Daggerfork,” He said, placing on the table three steaming bowls.

“Doesn’t he want anything?” Asked Ras’kai, pointing at Aidez. Who was hovering just above Zedia’s head.

“I don’t know,” Replied Zedia, “Aidez, do you want anything to eat?”

Zedia wasn’t expecting an answer, because he knew Aidez couldn’t talk, but suddenly:

‘Yes, thank you’

Zedia almost flew backwards off his chair.

Flora looked up.

“Zedia, what’s wrong?” she asked.

“Didn’t you hear it?” Zedia replied.

“Hear what?”

“Aidez just talked!”

“No he didn’t Zed… you’re hearing things,” Blaze told him.

“I didn’t hear him either, Zedia,” Flora said.

‘A potato would do nicely’ Aidez said again.

“Look! He did it again!” Cried Zedia.

Daggerfork looked at him sternly.

“You’ve got to be tired,” Said Ras’kai, “You’ve obviously been through a lot today”

“This is not tiredness! Aidez is talking!”

‘Calm down Zedia’

“Calm down!” Zedia exclaimed, Flora and Blaze gave him another strange look.

‘Only you can hear me’

“What are you talking about?” Said Zedia.

Blaze looked down out of embarrassment, but Flora raised an eyebrow.

‘And stop speaking out loud, just think it’

Zedia was doubtful, but gave it a try.

‘Like this?’ The voice in his mind somehow seemed stronger than his vocal voice, he sounded braver and manlier, like it wasn’t his voice.

‘Well done!’

Zedia gave a small smile.

‘so how long have you been able to talk?’

‘Since I was created, but it seemed rather rude to speak to you after what you have been through today, now can I have that potato?’

‘oh yeah’ Zedia replied to him, and passed a potato up to him. Aidez took 

“are ye okay, lad?” Asked Daggerfork.

“Uh, what? Oh yeah, I’m fine,” Zedia replied with a vague expression on his face.

“Oh, I’ve got something for you, Daggerfork,” Ras’kai said, going behind the bar.

After a few seconds, Ras’kai reappeared, holding a strange cat like creature in his arms; the strange animal was gold in colour, with sticking up ears, it had an almost human face.

“Wow!” Cried Flora, “He’s so cute!”

Zedia looked at her strangely, and she cleared her throat.

“Is that a sphinx?” she asked.

Ras’kai nodded.

“Her name is Shail, she belonged to my wife, before she…” Ras’kai trailed off.

Daggerfork got up and started patting him on the back, with such a force that looked as though it could break the trunk of a tree.

Flora shot up and almost ripped Shail out of Ras’kai’s hands.

“Can we keep him?” asked Flora frantically.

“Uh… ok…” Zedia replied, wondering why Flora had asked him.

After spending the whole day together, Zedia, Flora and Blaze had already began to feel like a team. And it felt like they were making Zedia the team leader, he didn’t want to be the leader.

Shail licked Flora’s cheek, and then looked at Aidez.

She growled, and Aidez hid behind Zedia.

‘Keep that thing away from me!’ Aidez sent the whining thought straight into Zedia’s head.

‘Be quiet Aidez’ Zedia said, and stroked his hand in between Shail’s ears.

Aidez frowned, and fluttered back to his place above Zedia’s head.

Daggerfork took his seat, and looked out of the small grimy window at the clock.

“Hmh, are ye all done, it be ten t’ six, and we still need t’ get ye new clothes,”
Daggerfork had reminded Zedia that he was still in his school clothes. His blazer looked a lot different to when he had put it this morning. It was torn and extremely muddy from when they had climbed the mountain like hill to Hakroth.

There was bits of torn up paper from the fight in the magic shop, and bits of Bangor’s dead skin stuck on his black trousers.

But Zedia’s clothes weren’t as bad as Flora’s. since they had arrived in this strange part of Kandrakah, she had been through everything ten times worse than Zedia and Blaze had.

She still had sap stains on her from when Mrs Rzegula had thrown her against the wall with her restriction spell.

Blaze’s clothes were still particularly clean.

“Well?” Daggerfork grunted.

“Well what?” Zedia asked.

“Ar’ ye finished lad?”

“Oh yeah,” Zedia looked down at the hotpot in front of him, he had barely taken a bite from it. The only bit of it that was missing was the potato that he had given to Aidez.

Daggerfork got up, and gave Ras’kai another pat on the back, whispering something in his ear.

Ras’kai nodded, and giving Shail one last stroke he disappeared behind the bar.

“C’mon,” Daggerfork said, “We only got about ten minutes before we have to meet Tai’tam,”

Zedia, Blaze and Flora stood up and followed Daggerfork back out into Hakroth’s cobbled streets.

 

The End

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