CHAPTER 94: STAR OF THE CONQUEROR
The camp is fill with the smell of meat. Some spices from Arrandy is given to the cook to make the meat more delicious.
Some kobolds know how to cook so they use the horsemeat to their full extent.
‘This could last us for months’ Mikael remarked when we brought it to the camp in the afternoon.
With the dwarves finding a nearby river in our camp area we are having a feast. For now the Dark Elves is taking guard while we are feasting.
Next would be their turn when the Orcs take their place.
‘LET US FEAST’ I roared and the Orc quickly grab their portion of the meat. Even though there are many races here, in front of their food at least their rivalry is forgotten for a while.
All is filled with happy expression on their face, some Orc is holding the thigh of the firehorse meat and eat it like he is eating chicken thigh.
‘This is delicious.’
‘There is a certain crispiness that I have never tasted before.’
‘True’ another chimed in.
‘A delicacy’ one shouted
‘If all monster taste like this, I may hunt them all’ and that invites laughter from the assembly.
‘If that’s the case, try Big Orc. Who knows? Someday they will get a taste of you.’ A Kobold warrior joked.
The Big Orc laughed hard sputtering the meat around the campfire.
All in all, they seemed pleased.
Arial is sitting at the place of honor.
After all he did hire these men and did most of the killing but still he joined the men in their talks, participated in their jokes, and he sat among them like equals. The same way he treated his army.
And his mercenary army is pleased, that the man that hires them is not arrogant or overbearing.
Of course, those Orc who follow him into battle does not only admire him, but fear him. Even now they seem to think what happened was unreal.
Arial is of course unaware of this, as he keep chatting with the soldiers and archers and the Kobolds.
Arial believe in his heart, that if someone risked their life for you, it is your obligation to treat that man well.
In the assembly, the Orcs that is present on the battle tell of how Arial defeats the Firehorse.
His strength and speed. His blade that shines with black glint.
And some of the Orcs ask permission to see the blade, and Arial unsheathe his sword for all to see and invites envy and admiration from all.
Yet Arial notices that none of them ask to hold the blade. That is one mystery he will solve one day.
Velamina is on the corner, eating not even half of the portion of the Firehorse meat and this was the first time she showed interest in these conversation.
It was not the sword that attracts her but the stories about Arial for she joins this band of mercenaries for her own purpose.
Fera the Orc boasted about Arial as his hand holding a portion of the horse tight, telling the spectators in front of the campfire.
‘He was incredible. Flying like the wind, and leadership that I have not seen in many years. Even in my land such ferocity is hardly seen’
And some of the other Orcs nodded.
‘Instead of running away, he fought them with honour. That shows character’ another Kobold chimed in. The Orc nodded.
‘A heroic stature with calmness in battle and strength that rivaled great heroes of the past. If young boy like this could overpower hundreds of firehorses, what would happen when he grow up. If its sword wouldn’t he be called the Sword God? If it’s his fist wouldn’t he be called the Fist God?’
‘You boasted too much about me’ Arial said, began feeling embarrassed to be praised so much.
‘I will stop then. But fighting a dragon? Before I believe this boy will kill us by making us fighting that Flying nightmare but seeing his strength today, we might have a chance, brothers’ he yelled.
And they laughed.
Boisterous laughs fill with teasing jokes. Then they continue their feasting, for mercenaries rarely went to feast, and nothing even the reminder that they will fight a dragon would dampen their spirit that night.
They consumed the horse meat, saying things like delicious and I tasted heaven.
Of course there are no side dishes, and Arial remembered in his castle, the richly roasted meat slathered with honey, and hundreds of fine delicacies.
The tension is a headache but the food is delicious.
‘Hmph’ he said it to himself.
He is too accustomed to life of a lord. This kind of life is one he is used to in the past. As the army is continuing the feast, Arial excuse himself.
He went to one of the high rocks and cross his arm and look into the stars as he always did when he is on foreign land.
‘Alone in this beautiful night?’ a voice startled him.
It was Velamina. He turned around and the darkness holds no hostage to the beautiful elf. Her snow white skin shines with ethereal beauty at night.
‘Velamina. Do you not join the feast?’
‘No I did not, my lord.’
‘You are a lord….aren’t you?’
‘How do you know that? I never told that to anyone.’
‘Were you hiding it? If so, I’m sorry.’
He shakes his head.
‘No I did not hide it. Though I’m not particularly incline to share it either.’
‘Then, it will stay secret with me.’
And for a moment there is a brief silence. The night is long, Arial mused.
‘Do you look at the stars, my lord?’
‘Yes. I do. It is one of the things I do when I am at a foreign land. And it calms me’
‘Do you read them?’
‘Read them? How do you mean?’
She giggled a little. And she came forward, near Arial looking at the star.
‘My title in the Elven community is Starseer. Would you like me to read the stars for you my lord?’
He looked at the stars and back at Velamina.
Then Velamina kiss him, a nervous kiss, holding his face, her hands are trembling in excitement and that startled Arial so he pushed her back.
‘What is that?’
‘I need to touch you.’
‘Then touch me! Why kiss me!’
‘I thought it would be faster and accurate.’
And she holds her hand up. A weak light star is shining in the skies and she pointed to one of the stars.
‘That is your star. At least it used to be. That is the Star of Calamity. A life destined for being subjected to horrors and dying alone. But it died about a month ago.’ And she looked again at the stars.
‘How?’ she asked herself and she looked at Arial again with puzzlement. Her words reminded him of his previous live.
He has witnessed horrors beyond imagining, and as she said, he died alone, in a basement without anyone that he cares about.
Her kissing him might be playing around but without a doubt there is a reason the Elven council give her the tittle of Starseer. After all Arial has heard that Elf has a considerable libido.
‘Now?’ Arial asked. She pointed to another star.
‘That is your star now.’
‘What is it called?’ She is reluctant to say it.
‘Is it another bad star?’
‘Maybe. It is the Star of the Conqueror. Rarely one is under that star. Even Levitia himself is not under that star.’
I laughed a little.
‘Are you saying to me that I am rivaled of that Hero?’
‘No. Not that. Levitia was born under the star of the Liberator and his fate of liberating people is testament to his destiny. Yours…are weird. Never before one man is born under two stars. But I met him today’ she whispered.
‘This is impossible.’ She looked more shocked then possible.
‘Maybe you are wrong?’ Arial asked, though he knew she is not wrong. How could he explain that he once died before, and return again.
‘Forgive me my lord. I must explain to you what Star of the Conqueror mean. It means you will bring great change in the world. Evil or good, this I can’t see. But one that is born under such stars must always be vigilant for such person will always be in threat, in constant war, but such person will also bring a new era. Tragedy follows. Heroic quest will haunt you. Whether it be another era of Great War…….or great peace…..you will be in the forefront…if such events come to pass. Such is the burden one that is born under such stars. Glimmers of past heroes, stories of villains and great Kings are lined under the starry skies for you to see.’ She said in a mystifying tone.
Still she looked at him, with the most puzzled look.
‘I will excuse myself my lord’ she said and she walks away.
Arial look back to the star and stare at it, too see even some glimmer. The night is long he mused
I was called by the Elders today. After I leave my hut, I went to the council. Usually you are only called by the Council on your nameday.
Kings might have more opportunity but I am not.
Even though I am half High elf, I am not nobility. This is because my mother is someone no one knows.
She left me on the Fabled Forest when I was just born. I am twenty and three this year. But still I am an important member of the community. My skills with variety of weapons make me the ideal warrior. My eyes could see a few seconds into the future so it helps me in battle.
I enter the huge dome of vines and leaves and I saw the Elders sitting in their root chair.
I hate them. Always spouting their prophecies and never give any clear answer. Vague answer alluding to doom.
Even their words are twisted.
Still, their words are true as they cannot lie. They have bathed in the Eternal Spring and done the ritual, so they could not lie unless they want to experience terrible pains.
‘Velamina greet the Elders’ I said and I bowed.
‘Velamina are noted.’ The elders reply.
I stand waiting for the Elders to speak. Then one of the Elders speaks.
‘We have a prophecy for you, young Velamina.’ The Elder said, his voice is calm and cold, devoid of emotions.
And at this I am shocked.
‘Elders forgive me…but haven’t I been Seen before?’
I still remember my prophecy. It is said that I am to become Elder one day, married a Dark Elves of great intelligence.
Sounds like a good life right?
But I am fated to have no children. When I heard it I am devastated because I want children.
But I accept it because the Elder have never erred in their prophecy. At least that is what my prophecy said. And I hate it.
The Elder look at me with pity.
‘True, child. But the stars changed.’
‘The stars don’t change!’ I say a little forcefully
‘But it did. We have consulted the stars and speak with the Ancient trees, and they have in their words relay to us of your fate. A month ago, something defying fate has happened. Someone managed to break fate plan, and so the stars changed. Breaker of Destiny’ they said with resignation in their tone.
‘Hear us now, Starseer. This is our prophecy. We once said you will not have children. The stars have changed. You will have an offspring of your own’ and this make me happy
‘But only by a human born under two stars.’
‘No one is born under two stars’ I said. That is just ridiculous. All of my life I have never seen anyone born under two stars.
‘The stars have shown it to be so’ the Elder said.
‘Then the stars are wrong.’ I protested. How could that be? Ridiculous. Are they joking with me?
‘The stars are never wrong.’ The Elders said
‘You will meet this human, peerless under heaven. But for you to meet him, you need to set out in a journey of great dangers. Only when you are ready to sacrifice your life can you meet him. Such union between the two of you will spring an offspring of great nobility. If you do not find him in five years, and bear his child you will meet a terrible fate. This is our prophecy. And so ends our words.’
And then they speak no more. At least they do not speak in rhymes. Human Oracles always speak in rhymes.
That annoyed the Elves very much.
Instead of telling straight out what will happen if they fail, human Oracles always tried to hide their prophecy by speaking in obscure reference.
I know asking them any question is futile. This is why I don’t like the Elders. They talk about your impending death like its nothing.
So, they tell you good news and you think ‘alright, everything is going to be fine’ but then they followed their words with, if you don’t find this or that you will die.
To me I think the Elder just like messing with us Elves for sheer enjoyment on their part.
Tell us literally useless thing, fan our fears and then they leave us to our own device. Not to mention in some cases dash our hopes.
So I exited myself out and go to my hut. A week later I was packing my bag, took my cloak, a hallucinatory potion, Dwarves mithril blade, asks for some gold from the Council and left the Forest.
I spent many months going to dangerous places, fighting monster and I look at anyone that might fit such description.
But there is no human in sight. After all this is the Dark Lands. Maybe I should go to the human Continent.
I shake my head.
I heard of course that the Demon Lords are in a state of war. Then I also heard the story of the treaty signing.
Maybe I could go, disguise as a trader.
One day I was drinking some dwarven ale in some tavern when one man, a half High Elf like me is offering gold for a hunting expedition.
Since I have no gold and my supplies are dwindling I agree to the expedition. After this I will go to human continent to look for that human.
When we reach the group I see one man leading them all, a young human of great nobility feature, his blue eyes scanning everyone, his long white hair flows gracefully and his pose is imposing.
Even when I heard that he is hunting a dragon, I insist on going. And the night I read him, his star. Is he the man in the Prophecy?