Queens and Griffins
When Axel regained consciousness he found himself lying on a grand bed in a magnificent room, with the familiar cloaked man watching over him. He sat up on the bed, dazed and confused.
“Where am I?” he asked, almost sounding drunk.
“You are in the royal palace,” the man answered.
“The royal palace?”
“Yes, this is where I reside.”
“Who are you exactly?”
For the first time since they met, the man took down the hood that hid his face, to reveal a strong man with tribal markings all over his head. His eyes were a smoldering grey, but Axel was to afraid to look directly into them.
“My name is Akteal, and I am the Queen’s right hand man,” the man replied.
“Who is the Queen?” Axel enquired.
“She is the Queen of Light and she rules over this land. Her husband is the King of Darkness.”
“But aren’t light and dark meant to be enemies?”
“That is the way it is meant to be in your world, but in my world they live in harmony and have done so for as long as I can remember.”
“What do you mean by “my world”?”
“This is not your world.”
“I’m in a different world?!”
Axel jumped up in the air and banged his head off of the top of the bed.
“Calm yourself,” Akteal said in a calming tone, “I will take you down shortly to meet them both. But first you must shower. The Queen does not like her guests to stink.”
Axel was about to shout at him, but then he sniffed himself and Akteal was right, he did stink.
Akteal then left the room so Axel could get ready. He found a new pair of clothes waiting for him when he came out of the shower. Once he was dressed he made his way out into the corridor. His new outfit was made of the finest materials. The two colours they were made of were black and white. He watched the many servants and soldiers walking past him, looking so peaceful. He eventually found himself at what looked like a glass elevator, and that’s where Akteal was waiting for him.
“I see you were able to find your way here,” he said, “Come now, we must go down to the throne room. Step into the elevator and we’ll make our way there.”
There were many floors to the palace, and it appeared that they were coming down from the very top. Down and down they went, until they finally made it to the ground floor, where they were facing a pair of enormous doors, one black and one white. Akteal placed his hands on the door and then they magically swung open. They made their way into the grand throne room, which was made out of a fusion of granite and marble. At the other end of the room sat two outstanding thrones, one for the King and one for the Queen. Axel and Akteal approached the thrones and Akteal kneeled down, pulling Axel down with him.
“Rise Akteal,” the Queen said, “You too Axel.”
The queen had a pale complexion and she was dressed in a beautiful white dress, which made her look like and angel. Her crystal white hair flowed down past her shoulders and glittered like starlight. The King had a slightly darker complexion and he was dressed in robes with a black cape. He had short hair as black as night, and his eyes seemed to be analyzing Axel very carefully.
They both got up off their knees and listened to what they had to say.
“I know all about you Axel,” the Queen said, “I have learned many things from observing you and your world. This is my husband, Drako, and I am Litia. Together we rule over this land. I hope you had a good rest?”
Axel looked to Akteal before answering, “Yes, Your Highness.”
The Queen giggled and then said, “That is good. My bed has healing powers. It seems that when you crossed over into this world, you tripped and fell, causing you to fall unconscious. I ordered Akteal to take you up to my chamber where you rested. Enough of my useless chatter. You probably want to know why I summoned you here. Well, I will let my husband explain.”
“I have studied your world too,” Drako began, “And I have studied your myths and legends. I’m sure Akteal has already explained this to you, but this world is different from yours in many ways, especially regarding light and dark. Here, light and dark have always lived in harmony, until now. Long ago, when my great great grandfather sat on this throne, a powerful group of cross-dimensional beings appeared in our world, and they did not like the idea of the harmony of light and darkness, so they began destroying our world and ripping apart the fabrics of our harmony.
Fortunately, my great great grandfather called together a band of knights and sealed away the ring leader, a ferocious creature named Brimlar, and he was sealed in a dimensional rift and was forgotten about. But very recently, Brimlar has managed to break free of his prison and has now began to wreak havoc once more. Luckily, my wife noticed a prophecy in our Sacred Book of Knowledge, which stated that a human would come to our world and exterminate Brimlar once and for all, using the almighty power of the Balance.”
At this point Axel had to butt in.
“Your Majesty,” he said, “May I ask, what is this Balance you speak of?”
“The Balance is the almighty power which we use to protect our world. It is the fusion of light and darkness, which is the greatest power in the whole universe. With this power you will be able to take down Brimlar. Anyway, when my wife told me of this prophecy we studied your world and when we cast our eyes on you we immediately knew that you were the human that the prophecy spoke of.
Now, in order to take on Brimlar, you must retrieve a sacred weapon called the Balance Sword. It was the weapon created by my great great grandfather and it was the weapon that helped seal away Brimlar. Once you have retrieved the Balance Sword we will tell you what to do next. Unfortunately, I do not know the exact location of the sword. All I know is that it is somewhere in your world. In order to get back to your world from here, you must go back through the arch which is situated in the great field in front of the palace. I will now let my wife continue.”
The Queen then said, “Tell me Axel, have you ever heard of griffins?”
“Of course, Your Highness,” Axel answered, “Why do you ask?”
“Well,” she said, “Tell me what you know of them.”
“I know that they are mythological creatures that were part lion and part eagle. I also know that, since the lion is considered as the King of the Jungle, and the eagle is considered the King of the Skies, the griffin is considered as the most powerful and majestic creature in the entire world.”
“That is right, they are the most powerful creatures in the world. But the thing is, what is considered as myths in your world, are in fact real in our world. And it’s not just griffins. The phoenix too, is also real in this world. There are many more as well, but I won’t go into too much detail. Anyway, there is one particular griffin that lives in a cave not far from here, and you must seek his help if you want to succeed. His name is Eldak, and if you explain the situation he will agree to help you. You must hurry there now, for we must get you back to your own world as soon as possible. Akteal, you shall accompany Axel to Eldak’s cave.”
“Yes, Your Highness,” Akteal said whilst kneeling again.
“That is all we have to say,” the Queen concluded, “Go now and begin your journey.”
Axel kneeled alongside Akteal, and then they left.
It was night time outside, but it was no problem for Akteal. His eyes were able to see through the thickest darkness, so he easily guided Axel through the marsh at the back of the palace and into the forest beyond. Nocturnal birds, which Axel believed to be owls, could be heard hooting away in the treetops. The trees in Akteal’s world were a lot bigger than the ones in his own world. From time to time a wild wolf would jump out at them, but Akteal would simply wave his hands and the beast would run away whimpering. The moon was high up in the sky by the time they reached Eldak’s cave. There was a small pile of bones from forest animals lying on the ground outside the cave entrance. Just as Axel stepped into the darkness of the cave, he heard a deep voice within, calling to him.
“Who goes there?” the voice asked.
“We have been sent by the King and Queen for your help,” Akteal shouted back.
“What do you need my help for?”
“I have with me the boy that is spoke of in the prophecy.”
At that moment they heard sounds coming from inside the cave, and they were getting closer. Just then, a powerful looking griffin appeared from the cave and stepped out into the moonlight. His fur was golden brown and his talons looked like they could cut through anything, even mountains. His face looked young and serious, his tail swishing behind him.
“I am Eldak,” he said, “Is this really the boy from the prophecy?”
“It is,” Akteal replied, “The King and Queen sent us for your help in our quest to exterminate Brimlar.”
As soon as Akteal mention Brimlar’s name, Eldak’s talons gripped into the earth furiously.
“We must travel back to the boy’s world to retrieve the weapon of old,” Akteal continued, “Will you help us?”
Eldak paced around for a few moments, before giving his answer.
“I shall help,” he replied, “Anything to slay that monster.”
“We must leave now,” Akteal said, “We need to make our way back to the great field.”
“I will take you there. Hop on my back.”
Eldak lowered his angelic wings to let them on. Axel cautiously followed Akteal onto the great beasts back, and in a matter of seconds they were off of the ground and up in the sky.
As they flew over the great field, they were able to spot the arch, so Eldak slowly landed onto the grass below. As they approached the arch they saw the King and Queen waiting for them. Again, they all kneeled before them, and the Queen gave the signal for them to get back up.
“Thank you for escorting the boy,” Litia said to Eldak, “Akteal, make sure no harm befalls him.”
“I will, Your Highness,” Akteal replied.
“I will now open up the arch portal back to your world,” Drako said, “I must warn you though, although it will be the exact same time as when you left, you will only have one day to find the sword, and at midnight I will open up the portal at the same time. Good luck on your quest.”
Drako closed his eyes and began to chant in an ancient language, which made the arch glow brightly.
“Go now,” Litia said, “Farewell.”
The trio looked at each other and then disappeared through the arch and back into Axel’s world.
“Adele, why can’t I find you?”
“I cannot explain.”
“I’m not where you think I am.”
“And where would that be?”