A/N: Hey there Dragojay again with a new story and yes, I know you are all looking forward to more BNAG, or Kipo but they are currently stay at the backburner for the time being for two reason. 1. The latest chapter on BNAG has some problems in both grammar and sentences so to help continue the story it shall be placed on hold until editing is done. 2. I also have a little writers block on my Kipo fic so that will be on hold until further notice. Overall, I apologize for any if all inconveniences to my followers. Until Please enjoy my latest work.
Long Ago, Xadia, was one land rich in magic and wonder. In the old times, there are only the six primal sources of magic the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, the sky, and the ocean but a thousand years ago two humans a mage and a young researcher both discovered a new magic and new power which were the seventh and eighth sources. Dark magic and Alchemy. Dark magic use the essence within magical creatures themselves to unleash dark power while in alchemy it does not just destroy everything within the wielder's surrounding but to a change it and make many forms of beauty through the understanding of our worlds nature as a whole. Through the method of taking something it must give something of equal or greater value in return this is known to this day as Equivalent Exchange which had led to many ways of scientific achievements.
Horrified and amazed by what they saw the elves and dragons put a stop the madness. Although through all the alchemists efforts both dragons and elves were thankful in their try to help mend this broken bond but alas due to alchemy too sophisticated and being it still in its infancy it could not be fixed. They drove every last human to the west but to those who practice the ways of alchemy were lenient due to their attempts of redeeming their crimes.
And so, the continent was divided in two. In the east, the magical lands of Xadia. And the west, the Human Kingdoms. As time went on the humans who practiced alchemy achieved many feats of medicine and technology such as the return of lost limbs from given battles to horrible accidents which given more time can lead a new age for man. Even a commoner of a kingdom's street can perform a simple transmutation. The age of steam slowly draws near but for now it barely starts. For centuries, the King of the Dragons himself defended the border. The Humans called him Thunder, for when he spoke, his voice shook the Earth and the sky.
But on the eve of last Winter's Turn, the humans used unspeakable Dark Magic to slay Thunder. Then, without mercy, they destroyed his only egg, his heir…the Dragon Prince. Now the world stands on the edge of all-out war.
Chapter one: The Journey of Four (no Five)
At night inside the human kingdoms is a castle being hit with a huge storm. Inside one of the castles towers lies a sleeping teenager surrounded by notes, drawn circles with stars in the middle, inventions of every shape and size and a lump of clay sitting in front of the teenager's head. By a closer look he has black hair with some of them being scorched at the ends, slightly pale skin due to the lack of going outside, and his face having scars from what could be previous experiments that may or may have not blown up at his face. The look of their body is scrawny but underneath the clothes is a well built fighter.
Still snoring he suddenly twitched and chuckle mumble, "Thank *yawn* your highness. I do my best."
This young man dreams of great achievement on the project he is doing and not knowing what lies ahead in his future. In another room we see a young boy with dark skin and hair snoring as well with his pet toad that is glowing. Then the glow dies down due to the boy drool being smeared all over its face, but it licked it all up in a flash and went back to sleep.
In the next room over we see another teenage boy wearing blue clothes and a red scarf who is simply doing some drawing and pretending he is defeat some monster made of marshmallow. Then with a clap of thunder it spooked both boys.
"Callum," called out the once sleeping boy to the now named boy across the room.
"It's okay, Ezran. It's just a thunderstorm. Nothing to be afraid of. Go back to sleep," said Callum reassuring the dark-skinned boy now named Ezran.
"I wasn't scared. Bait was scared," said Ezran cuddling up to the toad named Bait which he growled in responds.
Outside of the castle, a man is walking through the forest in the middle of the storm who is a soldier on patrol until they here rustling close by.
"Who's there," demanded the soldier wait for a respond but was met with silence.
Losing patience, he continues, "Declare yourself, in the name of King Harrow!"
In a flash of lightening the soldier see a group of elves and due to his panic, he takes a shot with his crossbow and misses. Too scared to face the elves the soldier backstepped and made a run to the castle to warren the others but not far behind him is an elf chasing him through the treetops. Now his crossbow reloaded the soldier turns around to make the shot but once he looks back, he sees nothing but trees and bushes.
Suddenly the soldier was kicked at the chest which made him fall off the cliff that is behind him luckily for him he landed in a soft pit of mud. The Soldier trying to recover see the elf jumping the cliff towards him. He tries to take aim again, but the elf nocks the crossbow off his hands and a sword close to his neck begging for mercy.
To shocked to think of anything except for one question, "Who are you?"
The elf looked at him and through their expression they do not want to kill this man, so they let him go knowing he was close to death.
When to sun is rising back to the tower to the pale skinned teen still snoozing until hearing both a loud slam and the shouting of an old man with a husky German calls out his name, "Solomon Cobalt wake up!"
This startled the teenager which causes him to lean back his chair losing his balance and fall on his back fist on the stone.
"I'm up. I'm up. *yawn* What is happening that is causing you to be wound up master," said Solomon to his master like fall on the fall is a normal occurrence to his.
"Oooh, I am not angry my boy. Today we will be making history people have been relying on horse to pull their cart for far too long and for that my latest invention shall show that arrogant magic user Viren that the need of magic essence is pointless with this," said the master proudly walking toward a sheet covered invention which he grabs a corner and pull it to reveal.
"The Horseless cart! With this travel will become easier with only needing water to refuel its power. It's brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Ha hahahaha," said the professor but to the teen alchemist in training he knows his master is a lover for theatrics and then the teen remembers something else of his master's inventions, so he asks.
"But what about the pressure gun and cloud maker? I think they are great as well master Theo."
Those words only causes the professor to give a sad smile and say, "Thank you for the kind comments apprentice while I have to admit the pressure gun is indeed a great weapon far greater than any crossbow but the gun itself is at its infancy and given enough pressure it could not just destroy the gun but kill the wielder as well while the cloud maker still needs something to make rain clouds without magic but nothing is found yet. So, for now all it does is spew hot blasts of steam."
Then the professor turns around and see his apprentices works and notes smiling a at their dedication to this form of "mystical" practice and say, "I see you are still work on your golem project Solomon. How far had you done it this time?"
This excited the apprentice and got him to explain his experiments to his master on successful crafting a hand and mimic his movements but in return it drains a lot of his stamina to make this victory. Equivalent exchange is tough but fair, now if only theirs a way get it to move without the makers expense.
Theo the eldest alchemist was happy about his apprentice's progress knowing that if these golems work there will be no need of losing soldiers in needless battles and having perfect security right at your own doorstep. The practice of alchemy never ceases to amaze him and that is when he realized that Theo himself is needed in the throne room today as soon as possible. This could possibly be the opportunity to showcase his invention and with it Katolis will be revered as the most advance kingdom in Xadia.
Then by the sound of a growling stomach broke Theo out of his musings and notices his apprentice's look of hunger. Honestly without those googles of his he will be the worst gambler in the kingdom.
"Here my boy," said the elder alchemist tossing his apprentice a bag of copper and silver coins. "Get yourself some breakfast and if you comeback please head to the bakers shop for some scones they will pair great with my latest brew of tea," finished the young alchemist's master who is pushing the experimental cart.
Solomon tries to help but Theo was insistent on having his apprentice eat something. "Like I said my boy in equivalent exchange once you take something you must return something of equal or greater value and by looking at you. You definitely need a break and go outside to get some fresh air. Like I also said your body and-"
"Mind are the same tools. If you do not keep them maintained, they become broken and useless. I know. I know," said Solomon in annoyance.
Theo huffed, "Huff. I like a little less attitude but, nevertheless. Go clean yourself up and oh I don't know spend some time with prince Callum."
"Yes, professor," said the apprentice leaving the room but came back for his gauntlets that by appearance look similar to knights arm armor without fingers on the glove with placeholder on the shoulder pad, elbow joint and both the back and palm of his hands. He then grabbed a bag which it makes sounds similar to coins when being shaken and left again.
Once the apprentice is far away the older alchemist shakes his head and said, "Oh that boy. One day you will change the world. I just know it."
Then elder alchemist does not know how true those can be, but his moments of thought were interrupted when he takes notice of the experimented cart rolling away from him crashing and braking something in the tower. "Oh, come on I just made that flask."
Inside another tower there is lord Viren is examining a mirror. He caresses the markings that surround the glass's frame, but his studying was interrupted by fierce knocking at his door. Viren covers the blanket and opens the door to the soldier who was patrolling during the rain want to give information on what he has saw.
Viren gone to the king's bedroom to wake him up by opening the curtains of the window.
"Viren, didn't I tell you if you ever woke me up this early again…I'd have you executed," said King Harrow who was rudely awaken.
The high mage clears his throat and leaves the king be to make himself decent. Now both king with his pet bird and mage now stand at the balcony in the morning sun having their talk.
"So, what's so important that you come into my bedroom risking your life like this," asked king Harrow petting his bird.
"Assassins," answered Viren.
"I see," said the king being unfazed by the news.
"A scout on patrol discovered them just before dawn," the mage explained the information in more detail.
"Well, don't look so grim. We've fought off plenty of assassins. Haven't we, Pip," said the king being all calm about the situation and being love to his bird.
"It's different this time. We believe they're Moonshadow elves," said the mage with worry.
"Moonshadow elves? Then how did the scout escape," asked the king now curious.
"I don't know. It was muddy, wet, dark…Somehow he got very lucky," explained Viren.
"The Crown Guard won't be enough to hold them off," said the king now beginning to be worried.
"Send for General Amaya and the Standing Battalion," ordered Harrow.
"The Breach is too far. They'll never make it back in time," said the mage feeling dread.
"What's tonight's moon," the king asked.
"Full," answered Viren.
"He, of course it is…,"
"With the Moonshadow elves at the height of their power, no defense will stand against them," said the mage solemnly.
"Then we won't defend. We will attack," said the king now being serious. "We must find them today, in the light of the sun, and stop them before it's too late. Beside we also have our own talented alchemist to set up traps and improve our offensive.
Hearing that causes the mage to grunt in disdain on how he does not like the alchemist Theo.
Back at the kingdom's ground Solomon was great kindly to many of the people in the kingdom of Katolis. Heck he is the people's local hero due to saving the crops from a swam of cricket last fall and now he helps people repeatedly that some normal cannot do. One could he is the best handy man on the job.
"Oh, hello Sol," called out a female voice.
"Oh, hello Mary. How are things going in your fathers automail shop? I heard that at other kingdoms that they plan on installing spring loaded darts to the wrists of arm automail," said Solomon having a conversation with his friend in town.
"Going good for now Dad got started on giving automail to pets right now," said Mary until a series of barks and the sounds of a man struggling and Mary knew she is needed.
"Oh, sorry maybe we will meet again next time until then, bye handyman," said Mary heading back to the store.
After a few more blocks down the street he finally made it to the baker and once gets some of the baked goods he is after he can visit Miss Celest's tea shop for a pot to go while return the last pot he has taken with the leaves he usually orders for himself.
"Ah Solomon, it is good to see you back with the people and it is good to see a face who does not steal," Barius the baker who is both happy to see the local alchemist and angry of events that happened before Solomon arrived.
Solomon knew what happen and said, "Let me guess prince Ezran came in and taken some tarts."
"Yes, that boy does not know when to keep things to themselves," said the baker bitterly.
"Hey, I understand and like you just said he is a kid and he is going to learn sooner than later to stop what he is doing," said Solomon and he leans in to whisper to Barius's ear.
"If you like I can set up a stink trap for him and you can catch him in the middle of the act," offered Solomon which causes the baker to laugh.
"Hehehehe, thank you Solomon that is appreciated but not necessary and beside the stink will ruin me but thanks, nevertheless. Now what would you like," said the baker now offering the alchemist.
"Hmm, I like two cinnamon rolls and both a dozen blueberry and walnut scones. Also, if your oven is having problems feel free to ask for help," said Solomon with a smile.
After now getting his set up pot of tea and his baked goods in hand he heads back to the castle. Once there Solomon arrived at the courtyard, he was just in time to see prince Callum arrive as well and found a good shaded spot to sit. Wanting to make his tea Solomon placed a pile of stick he has collected on his run to pick up his breakfast.
The he pulls out his small pouch next to him and dumps the contents to his hand which small disks with star-like symbols on them. Solomon found the disks he needs and slid them to the required slot that needs to be place on his palms.
Once he is done, he put all the remaining disks back in their pouch and he commences the needed ritual of activating the alchemic symbols. To a novice alchemist people get what they are needing in a split second but without focus the item the person made becomes weak and useless in seconds but with practice and focus alchemy can achieve so much more which it did. Now that both symbols are glowing Solomon snapped both his fingers and the fire is made which is being used to heat his morning tea.
Now that is all set Solomon takes one of his cinnamon rolls and takes a bite of the spicy yet sweet confection while listen to the two locale knuckleheads conversation.
"Prince Callum. Today we focus on the art of-"
"Art! Finally, something I'm good at," said Callum interrupting the blonde in armor.
"What about alchemy your highness. You are also decent with that," called out Solomon from the sidelines.
"True and sorry. Won't interrupt again. Please…continue, Soren," said the prince try to fix his mistake.
Accepting the apology, the armored blonde named Soren continues the lesson, "The art of defense is critical in sword-fighting. Parrying is about angle, motion, anticipation…Misjudge your opponent, and it's over."
This got Solomon to recall a certain, "Oh like how I misjudge the grains of sulfur that caused that explosion last week? It is also a good thing no one got hurt including me."
That got Soren to chuckle remember that day as well, "Yeah, the smell did not go away for two days but to me it is still funny. Anyways, you ready?"
Soren gave the prince the wooden sword and immediately dropped it but picked it back grasping it.
"Uh, I'm gonna have to say no," said Callum not confidently.
"Great. Let's do this," said Soren pulling out his wooden swords as well an then the pot starts whistling signaling that the tea is ready and that caught the attention of the guard but changed their focus on the prince's mock battle.
Now Solomon pulls out an odd pendent from his pocket and pull it's top to reveal a collapsible wooden cup with just a twist to the right the locks to its place to stay as a cup. The he pours his amount of tea and continue eating while watching the mock fight which Callum is failing.
Callum scoffs, "I'm terrible at this!"
"Yep," said Soren. "But you have to practice anyway, because that's what's expected of a prince."
"I have to agree with him with that," spoke Solomon getting his second cup of tea.
"Or a step-prince, actually."
"What," asked Callum not hearing what Soren said.
"Oh yeah I just remembered how's your mud men army going along," asked Soren which say the words mud men felt offensive to him.
"Fist of all they are golems and second doing better than before. I was able to make and move an arm so that makes it four limbs now all that left is the torso and head. Then it is already to go," said Solomon matter of factually.
That is when a young woman walks pass the young men with Solomon giving her a sour look drinking his third cup and eating half of his second cinnamon roll. She is too enamored to her book to see her surrounding and head towards the tree which Solomon is looking forward to seeing the mishap.
"Hey, Your sister. She's gonna walk right into that-," said Callum before being shushed by Soren which Solomon silently thanks to see his laugh for the day but Callum calls out and it stop her from hit the tree which Solomon became disappointed.
"Oh. Hi, Callum," shouted Soren's sister waving at the prince.
"You're no fun."
"I agree Soren," said Solomon.
"Is this new?"
"Relatively new," responded Callum.
"It's oh I don't know. Been there for 300 years," said Solomon with a smart mouth finishing his last cinnamon roll and fifth tea while the young woman gave a sarcastic laugh with a sour look to the alchemist in training. She walks away to the bench to keep her distance away from the young alchemist and Solomon is pouring his sixth and last cup of tea.
"Hey, uh, can we try again? I think I can do it now," said Callum.
To Solomon he has been with the prince for a long enough time to tell that his confidence is to impress the girl who sitting and reading to which she is not paying attention causes him to shake his head but continues to watch the fight. At first Callum was doing better until he attempts to swing the sword at Soren's legs which did not work.
"What was that," asked Soren.
"I don't know," responded the prince feeling ridiculous at the moment.
"Uh, I was trying to 'sweep the leg'," said Callum trying to sound smart but that only causes Solomon to shake his head again.
"That's not a thing in sword-fighting," said Soren and he realizes where the confidence came from great Solomon figured it out minutes ago and he is smarter that the sword wielding Soren.
Not wanting to womb, the prince's confidence even further he helps him out. This led to a few parries and to an over dramatic display of someone getting stabbed which gave Solomon a reason to chuckle at the display.
The young woman chuckles as well not of disinterest, "Nice work, Callum. He deserves it."
"Prince Callum and alchemist Solomon. The King needs to speak with you urgently," said the messenger.
"He didn't really stab me," spoke Soren out of nowhere.
That is when Solomon gets up from his sitting spot, pours the rest of his tea to put out the fire he made and said, "Well lets not keep the king wait shall we."
At the throne the king, his advisors, and master alchemist Theo who he had shown his latest work to the king and approves it to made for only the traveling and farming business only but that was still a victory for him. To make it better Viren was there to have Theo rub his victory on the dark mages face but as of right now they are using the landscape mode of the surrounding castle grounds planning a strategy for the coming assassins when Theo is more than happy to take the challenge.
After some knocking on the door to grab the adult's attention Callum, Ezran, and Solomon with the scones enter the room and king Harrow is happy to see them.
"Boys. You're going on a trip. To the Banther Lodge," said the king.
Callum being suspicious says, "But…it's spring. That's the winter lodge."
"Eh. Winter is coming…eventually," said the king and to Theo. He already knew that the king has shown his hand and Solomon can see in his eyes.
"That boy can be a terrible gambler but when it comes to reading people, they are opened books to him as compensation. Hehehe," said the old alchemist to himself and already his stomach growls which causes everyone to look at him and making him embarrassed.
"Sorry everyone I forgotten my breakfast and I had my apprentice fetch them for me. Speak of which," Solomon does not need to asked and hands his teacher and advisors scones while saving the smallest and last ones to Viren.
Upset on the portions Viren hissed, "Commoner filth."
This almost causes Solomon to be aggressive towards him, but his master stops him but if he does anything to brash he can handle it,nevertheless Theo glares daggers at mage the while everyone knows in their history that dark mages and alchemist do not see eye-to-eye.
While that is happening Ezran asks, "What will we do? Everything fun the has to do with snow or ice."
"Maybe you can invent new versions using…dirt and rock," king Harrow providing the best solution and hear that just made Solomon shakes his head in disappointment.
Solomon knows he is doing this to protect his kids but even he knows that the truth can hurt people. In a way to Solomon's mind truth and lies are part of equivalent exchange in itself. You cannot have one without the other.
"You could build a dirt man! Or…what about mud-sledding? It could be a thing," said the king and Solomon just had enough.
"Your highness I apologize for speaking freely but we both know that you are lying. While I understand that you are looking out for your loved ones is completely reasonable but keeping those secrets be hurtful to others in many ways than one," said Solomon walking to the king while looking at Viren at the corner of his eye.
Impressed the king chuckled and said, "Nothing can get past your insight but. Look, this is something I need you to do. Including you Solomon."
"It's decided," said the king seriously and from the looks of it Solomon understands the severity of the situation so he does not speak. "You'll leave before sundown, so go get packed up."
"Yes, sir. Come on, Ez," said Callum to his little brother.
Solomon watches the leaving and suddenly he felt a hand on his shoulder that is when he found out it belongs to his master. Seeing his face tells him to do as the king say and that is what Solomon is doing.
"Why's he sending us away? Something's wrong and you know it Sol," said the little prince.
"Yes whatever is happening it makes him worried for your safety but between you and me with master Theo at the helm that problem will have a problem as well," said Solomon knowing his master he makes the best of traps through alchemy. He rubs the little prince's head playful which got him to smile.
"You see. Everything's going to be fine. All right? And since Solomon is sure of it then so do I," said the older prince which all three but head out to pack their things while Callum still having doubts.
Meanwhile in one of the towers, Viren, Soren, and Soren's sister enters the room.
"What's going on, Father," asked Soren.
"We have visitors from Xadia…Unwanted visitors," answered Viren.
"What are they, minstrels or something," asked Viren's son not having a clue.
"Assassins," whispered Soren's sister.
"I know! What do you think, I'm an idiot," said Soren proving that he is not an idiot but slow on understanding.
Viren walks up to his children and continued, "They've set up camp somewhere near the base of the cliffs. Soren, you will lead an attack."
"Right. Their secret camp. How am I supposed to find it if it's secret?"
Knowing the answer Viren goes for a wooden box and answers, "These assassins are Moonshadow elves. They draw power from the Moon. Inside this box is an Archangel Lunaris…a giant moon moth. It will be drawn to their energy. Follow it, and you will find them."
"And what happens if I can't find them," asked Soren.
"Then we may be on the brink of changing times."
"You're saying they'll kill the king," Soren again asks but was shushed looking out the window to see prince Callum walking and looking up at that same window looking worried.
Unannounced to the mage the elder alchemist has placed an ear at their door hearing the whole conversation growing worried for the king and two prince's behalf.
"Discretion, Boy," said Viren seriously. "Do you want to cause a panic?"
"Just get out there and find them. Before sundown," said Viren having nothing to do with apologizes and it is Theo's ques to get out of their a quick as he can to tell his apprentice what has heard and if thing do get worse as he imagine he need to get his boy prepared and fast.
Back to the Viren and family the little sister speaks up saying, "So, if these are Moonshadow elves, then once the moon rises…"
"Even with the distractions of that crazy alchemist traps. They'll be unstoppable," said Viren giving his daughter a grim look.
"Well, I'm going to find a way to stop them," said the daughter with confidence. "After all, "unstoppable is just another kind of "stoppable.""
"No. That's not really right," said Viren now confused on what his daughter has said.
"Yeah, it made more sense in my head."
Back at the alchemist tower during the search party packing up, Solomon is over half way done with his packing with his notes of his Golem project with the addition of a book of extracting needed chemicals from his surroundings for his potions, an extra supply of transmutation circles and pendants when his 'magical' touch is needed, a medical kit with surgical tools, knives for close range combat and skinning animals for money, a how to make medicine guide book , and a variety of materials to transmute for any given situation. All that is missing is a supply of food and water and all is good for the trip that is until he hears the door slam open a second time for the day.
"Solomon, I need to speak with you. This is urgent," said Theo with a concerning look on his face.
Solomon leaving his satchel on the bed went downstairs and head towards his teach and adoptive father asking, "What is it master is it something bad going to happen?"
"I know you can tell someone is lying so I'll say it. What concerns me most is I do not know. I recently listened to Viren and his kids about finding the elves. What I do know about the past is that these elves are here for revenge and me knowing Viren if the king dies, he will do whatever it takes to seize the opportunity to not just kill the elves but the dragons as well. I have seen it once before he defeated an enemy and just like a bully, he kicks their target once they are down. I try to stop him, but I was too weak willed to do it," said Solomon's master with a face of woah which shock the apprentice.
Then the master has both the look of anger and determination on his face and looks at his apprentice in the eyes, "I may have been a weak fool back then but now no more if he plans on doing anything to the king I will show him the true power of an alchemist. Go take the gun boy the portable steam engine is at the third shelf in the cabinet with the bag of ammunition behind me. I think of no one better capable on using them then you and beside you were already great with a crossbow so why stop now. Hahaha."
This surprises Solomon to no end first master Theo told his of a dark past he never spoken to him before and now he is giving Solomon one of the project weapons he likes but hearing all of this. He knows one thing this maybe possibly be the last time that Solomon will see his master and he knows it to so before going to get the engine walks up to his master giving him both a loving and sorrowful hug to his teacher/father figure.
"Thank you. If you had not picked me up from the streets I would-"
"Shh, now don't you go falling apart on me now boy now is not the time to cry. It is time you step up and take the responsibility I had prepared you for and take this. This is one of the original copies of the first alchemists research without him we would not have these amazing forms of technology we see here. Now chin up my boy this is now your journey and I will be damned if I ever fail to keep my king safe and letting that black snake take the throne," said the aged alchemist being fatherly and wiping a tear off the apprentice.
"Also, if I ever do not survive this encounter. Kick that mage in the family jewels or tailbone either one is satisfactory," Theo's words got Solomon to laugh off that moment of sadness.
"Now go. Look after the princes. I have a task that must be finished as well," said the elder alchemist watching his apprentice fastens his gauntlets again, pick up his satchel, the steam engine, ammo bag and gun.
Once he is gone Theo looks at his cloud maker and he already figured out this invention has the newest purpose for this given situation.
Back in the forest outside the castle, we hear the elves preforming a ritual.
"Four full moons past, on the eve of the Winter's Turn, the humans crossed into Xadia and murdered the King of the Dragons. Even with the added help with their alchemist trying to ease his pain," said this group's lead Runaan. "Then they destroyed his only egg, the Dragon Prince. Tonight, we bind our lives to justice!"
"My breath for freedom," said the first assassin.
"My eyes for truth," said the other.
"My strength for honor," said the third.
"My blood for justice," said the fourth.
"My heart for Xadia," said the youngest of the group.
"Life is precious. Life is valuable. We take it but we do not take it lightly," said Runaan tying each assassin with a silver ribbon.
"Moon reflects sun, as death reflects life," said the youngest elf.
Once those words were said Runaan pulls out his blades and like the wind they are cut off finishing the ritual.
"When it is dome, I will send a shadowhawk with a blood ribbon message to the Queen of the Dragons," explained the leader what will happen once the job is done. "We strike when the moon is highest!"
"Runaan," asked the young elf.
"What is it, Rayla," asked Runaan.
"I was wondering…what if they know we're coming," said Rayla being concern for the others.
"We have the advantage of surprise. If we act fast, we will accomplish our goals without sacrifice," said Runaan with confidence on finishing the job but that does not reassure Rayla.
Back to the castle Ezran is in his room playing with his pet glowing toad but the fun was over once Callum enters the room.
"Ez! What are you doing," asked the older brother.
"Hi, Callum. Do you want a-"
"No, I don't want a stupid jelly tart," exclaimed Callum denying his little brother's offer of a treat. "Why aren't you packed? You know we have to get going soon."
"But…you're not packed," said Ezran.
"What do you think I'm doing," said Callum stuffing a shirt into his bag only to get smeared in jelly tart which got the youngest prince to laugh.
"Ezran! You don't get it, do you, Exclaimed Callum even further not taking anymore jokes. "Why do you think they're sending us away? Because they're coming to kill him!"
This upsets the little prince and ran to his room most likely crying while he sighs in defeat.
"Wow, that was harsh of you," said Solomon leaning against the door of the prince's room and scanning the surroundings. "And apparently not packed either. Not too surprising."
"You already knew didn't you Sol," asked Callum.
Not wanting to have fun Solomon cut to the chase, "Assassins, yes. The type of assassins, no. What I do know is my master will everything with in his power to keep the busy and even capture them if they cards are dealt right."
Those words did not reassure the prince and Solomon's attention now diverted to something on the wall, "Callum! What have you done with the transmutation circle I gave you to your birthday its ruined."
Not paying attention to what his alchemist friend said but instead notices something on his back.
"Hey, Sol what is that on your back," asked Callum.
"Oh this? This is master Theo's first experimental steam engines it is only one of the prototypes he made including this weapon," said Solomon pulling out his gun to show Callum.
"This thing is going make crossbows the thing of the past. Now we are veering off path and you your highness you need to pack up including Ezran," said Solomon.
"I'll get it done I just need to apologize to Ez can you help, please," said Callum and Solomon help the prince with his packing to help him focus he puts down his satchel, engine, and gun.
Now the prince notices the newest items that were on his friend but questions for that should be saved for later. Now he needs to talk to his little brother.
"Ezran, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said what I said," said Callum speaking to the door. "I'm sure everything's going to be fine. Come on. Later, you can call me a jerkface, and I'll do the crazy jerkface dance for you."
That last sentence got Solomon to laugh while now halfway finished packing for the prince, "What? That is the first time I ever heard of that dance. Did you two make it?"
"It is a dance of stupitude and sorry-ness," that statement helped answer Solomon's question which got the result of a headshake and now Callum being defeated. "Okay, well, I'm going to go grab some books for our trip."
"You didn't?! I swear your highness the moment I am not around is the moment you get eaten but luckily for you I got your clothes packed. Now let's going while we still have sunlight," said Solomon tossing the prince's bag to him and Solomon picking up his things including his master's last gift going to the library.
Now seeing his alchemist friend leaving the prince tries to finish his talk to his little brother, "We don't have much time, so I'll be back to help you pack in a few."
Once the prince is out of his room Callum see his friend over six feet away from him calling out, "Come on Cal while were still young."
The castle's library never ceases to stimulate Solomon's mind with all the books on history, history of magic, sciences, and on occasion some fictional stories he enjoys to read when time permits but alas this luxury cannot be achieved in today's current events. That is when takes a look at the corner of his eye to see Callum pulling out a red book titled Lost Secrets of Xadia.
"Oh hey I read that book before there is that one page where it tell about this secret organization forged by the first alchemist himself named The House of H where they most of their days tinkering, experimenting, and even test their alchemic knowledge but sadly nothing is heard about them. Oh, there is a footnote that they try help fix what the first dark mage has done and by their kindness the humans who do alchemy were not treated as harshly when being sent to exile," said Solomon being excited about the history of alchemy but Callum has other priorities in mind.
"Sol please I am looking for something in this book," said the prince while Solomon raises his hands and let him be.
Callum opens the book somewhere in the middle until the pages start flipping back catch both boys by surprise.
Then that moment of shock faded when they both hear a girly chuckle and Solomon already knew who it is.
"What are you doing here Claudia," said Solomon being already annoyed by her when she casted her spell which launched the book right to the shelf.
"I thought the book was haunted or something," said Callum not being bothered by the spell.
"You should have seen the look on your faces. It was completely adorable and hilarious," said Claudia.
"Ridiculous/bothersome," said both Callum and Solomon at the same time.
"Did you just say adorable," asked Callum while Solomon rolled his eyes knowing Callum's crush, but he know that Claudia is out of the prince's league.
Callum clears his throat and continued, "It's so amazing that you can do things like that."
"Nah, it's just a simple wind breath rune. Aspiro," explained Claudia while casting the spell for a third. "Can you smell the peanut butter?"
"No, I can actually smell clean air instead of stinky dark magic," said Solomon being snarky who earned himself a glare from the magic user.
Luck would have its Callum helped intervene, "Oh, yeah. Is that part of the spell?"
That calmed her down and she answers the prince, "Nope, it's just what I had for lunch."
This got both of them to laugh while Solomon rolled his eyes just wanting her to go away.
She now explained about the primal stone and show it to the prince that a storm inside from a distant mountain but to the alchemist's mind he could explain a good sum of detail of capturing lighting which was one of the many causes that earned him one of his cuts on his face but the prince was too enamored to listen.
"That's incredible. You're so lucky you get to learn magic," said Callum
"Well, you get to learn sword-fighting," said Claudia.
"I'd switch places in a second," insisted Callum.
"Hey Cal, may I also add that you can do alchemy as well which also reminds you of that transmutation circle that I gave you," said Solomon giving Callum the look of a disappointed teacher.
That is when Claudia gasps in excitement, taps her nose and starts running off to somewhere and Solomon grins when saw Callum smile ridiculously while tapping his nose as well then said, "I do not understand girls."
"That we can agree," said Solomon.
Now at the throne room king Harrow looks outside the window with Viren walking towards him and alchemist Theo right behind him and spoke before the dark mage speaks, "Your majesty the traps are set. We may not see the elves, but they will not see what they will get as well."
This earned the alchemist a smile from his king, "Theo and you did a lot faster than last time."
"Will I have made most of them in advance although they were intended for someone else," said Theo taking a quick look at the dark mage and that earned the alchemist a glare.
"Nevertheless, this helps things," said the king.
"My king, we have not been able to find the elves," said Viren about the search party's failure. "Sundown is only an hour away. Soren and the others have returned to bolster your defense even with the alchemist traps."
The king knows the differences of dreams and reality, so he said to both the alchemist and mage, "It won't be enough."
"But it will at least slow them down your highness," said Theo with his trademark confidence.
"I appreciate your optimism Theo but I've accepted that tonight, I may pay the price for our mistakes," said the king but to Theo they both know of their past sins and the alchemist attempt to make thing not as worse.
"Harrow don't give up just yet. Claudia and I are still searching for a creative solution," said the mage try to sound innocent but both the alchemist and king what he is taking about.
"Call it what it is…"
"Dark magic," Theo finishes the kings sentence glaring at Viren for suggest that evil form of practice and the mage knows it.
"Yes," Viren acknowledged.
"I've spent years going along with these 'creative solutions,' and where has it gotten me," said the king exclaiming at the last part of his sentence and Theo understand completely where the king is going that is why he is doing his best to keep him safe from the demon standing right next to him.
"I don't understand," said Viren
"Oh yes you do and now is the time I say it. No matter how many times dark magic has help people it cause many repercussions to the future that is why the alchemists follow the laws of equivalent exchange to not bite more than we can chew and from what I have seen what that magic did gives us more reason to be above the arcanenums and not hurt them," Theo said with half of his mind which earned him an angry red faced Viren glaring at the alchemist to no end while the king look sorrowful but deep down thankful for Theo saying his piece.
"Leave me both of you," said the King Viren gets out first still glaring at the alchemist while Theo does the same to the mage.
Once the dark mage is gone Theo pats the king on the giving him an understanding face and he left throne room to be alone. Meanwhile, after Viren is in another hallway he hears footsteps and see his daughter tapping her nose and pointing at father which confuses the mage.
Viren sighs and asks, "Okay, what is that, with the nose, the finger? Not everyone speaks Claudia, Claudia."
"It means, I've got something," said Viren's daughter with a smile.
Now both Callum and Solomon returned to the princes' quarters and knocks on his little brother's door.
"Ezran, we need to get going. It's almost sundown," called out Callum but when there is no response this cause both boys to worry.
Callum opens the little door at the bottom and sticks his head out to see if his brother was their turns out his is not in his room.
"Prince Callum, Sir Solomon," said the which causes the prince to jump is surprise and hit his head.
"Ow! Uh…hehehe. Of course, we're both here. Why wouldn't we be," said Callum but Solomon can already tell the prince lied to guard.
"Right. Well, the king wants to see you two alone, Prince Callum and Sir Solomon," said the guard.
"Oh, perfect. But he could have seen both of us if he wanted to," said another lie from the prince and Solomon just shakes his head. Callum got up from his spot and walks out with Solomon in his tail.
"Okay Cal I was told I am a bad liar but you I swear you worst than me some times it get annoying real fast," said Solomon being irritated but that turn into curiosity to where Ezran went.
"Also want to add where did Ez go," the young alchemist asks and what he got as answer was a shoulder shrug.
"I do not know. I can guess he left his room when we gone to the library but other than that I have no clue," Callum gave his best answer.
Now both prince and alchemist enter the throne room.
"You wanted to see us," asked Callum to his father.
Once both boys enter Solomon puts on a brave face while Callum looks upset and walks to king Harrow.
"Prince Callum, alchemist Solomon," said Harrow.
"My King/Your majesty," both boys said at the same time bowing.
"No, I… Please."
"Okay/Yes sir," said the boys again now standing straight.
Just by the looks the king wants to say something to his son first so Solomon will just stands and be silent until called out.
"Callum, I know I'm not your birth father, but I want you to know that…," said the king but takes a breath before continuing. "This isn't easy. So, the most important things, I've written down."
That is when he pulls out a scroll to his boy and to Solomon can tell there are two forms of information this scroll contains it is either a will or eulogy for his son but no matter what both the king an alchemist know this will be the night he dies including his master causes Solomon squeeze his fist in silent rage. This will possibly be the night that not just the king will die but his adopted father dies as well. No matter what he will keep his promise and going to make sure the princes are safe even if he has to fight an army of elves to do it. He will fight to his last breath.
Solomon may not have a family before his master but once he met him. He and everyone in this castle were like family to him and the princes are the closest thing to brothers to the alchemist.
"A letter," asked Callum?
"You'll understand in time," said the king. "I want you to break the seal when…"
Now the king looking terrible Solomon places a hand on the kings shoulder silently telling him that it is okay. To Solomon's eye Harrow was the closest thing to any uncle to him and he silently thanked Solomon for his comforting touch at the sad moment.
"Well you'll know when."
"When you've been killed," said Callum.
King Harrow steps close to his son and places his hands-on Callum's shoulders, "War is full of uncertainty."
"Why can't you do something about it? Can't you just make peace with them," asked Callum getting sad.
"Callum," Solomon understands how he feels. It just like back at the tower but worse.
"It's not that simple," said the king the honest fact but that got his sun to push him.
"It seems pretty simple to me. You don't want to die. I'm sure the elves and dragons don't want to die. So, everyone agrees," said the prince getting more desperate with each sentence and to Solomon he understands what he says but is ever that simple from back in the past to today.
"There are centuries of history. Generations of wrongs and crime. On both sides even with the alchemist doing their best to fix things but it did not work. I am responsible for some of those wrongs. I have done terrible things. I thought they were necessary. Now, I don't know," said the king regretfully. "But I do know I will pay the price for the choices I made.
"The path to damnation is pathed made in good intentions. Now I truly understand what that means," said Solomon with a solum look on his face.
"There has to be a way to make it right," said Callum and while Solomon agrees on that he is think but it is already late in the now but the future maybe things be put right.
"It's too late," said the king what Solomon was thinking. "What is done cannot be undone."
"But you're the king. You can do anything," said Callum being a fool of not knowing of bearing the responsibility.
"Callum," Solomon said to the prince while the king sighs and laughs.
"The Great Illusion of childhood is that adults have all the power and freedom. But the truth is the opposite. A child is freer than a king," said the king to his son.
Callum looks at the scroll and said, "I'm going to give this back to you this weekend okay? I'm not going to have to open this."
Both Harrow and Solomon understand what he is saying but the king has these words to say, "Take care of your brother and Solomon do everything you can to keep them both safe."
Solomon understands his orders and nods. He may lose a king, but he is not planning to lose anyone else this night forward. That is when Callum is on the verge of tears, he walks away to pick up the bag. Not taking it anymore Callum hugs his father for possibly the last time, and he see Solomon standing and he offered to join in on the hug.
That was more than enough to get Solomon and hugs both his king and prince. They may not be blood, but they are more of a family than anyone else. Once the embrace was over Solomon turns away to wipe a tear off his face and gain back his face of determination. He promised his master/father to not cry tonight until the princes are safe and by heaven or hell, he'll do it.
Now both boys are walking down the hall and to Solomon now is the time to set up the gun he pulls it out behind him by looking at it. It has similar characteristics of a cannon on a ship but shrunken and looking at one of the sides of the gun it looks like it has a gage to see how much steam is inside that this. By the looks of it, it is already filled enough for a shot.
Shrugging his shoulders Solomon pulls the spout of the ammo out and shake it to get a metal ball out of it. This caught the interest of Callum to get his mind off of the depression he is feeling.
"Huh, I already heard about a new weapon being made from the guards, but I did not know it looks like an ugly crossbow," said Callum while Solomon drops the ball in the gun's barrel.
"Yeah luck would have its master Theo taught me the ways of using a crossbow, fight in combat, and do alchemy all at the same time. Funny thing is I realized the gun's steam pressure is already filled maybe it's a sign I need to be ready," said Solomon now feeling on edge.
Callum pats his shoulder to calm him and said, "Hey easy Sol, we went through an emotional moment being on edge can possibly do that to a person."
This calms Solomon down just a little, but he will not let his guard down, "Thanks Cal but I am not put this thing away until we are far away from here."
Callum understands his childhood friend and they press forward. Then suddenly both boys here woosh and Solomon takes position to aim his target while Callum calls out, "Ez, is that you."
"Hello," Callum called out walking down the hall behind them and Solomon at the ready for a fight. After walking a few step Solomon while being to be patient while learning alchemy knew that something does not feel right while keeping close to Callum. Good thing Solomon kept his fire transmutation pendants on his gauntlet if the gun does not work alchemy can help fill the gap.
After taking another number of steps both the prince and gun wielding alchemy can tell someone is behind them.
"You know you can't sneak up on me," said Callum and both boys turned around to see an elf with their hood up scaring the prince but for Solomon took aim.
The elf then takes off the hood to who that the elf was indeed a female due to her delicate features but does not deter the alchemists aim.
"Uh, uh, you're not who I thought you… Your one of those, with the pointy…"
"Your highness it is rude of you to make fun of another's characteristics. Sorry about him. While we are enemies, I try to treat others with respect no matter if they be noble or commoner. Same goes for races as well," Said Solomon which surprised the elf slightly.
"Well thank you at least there is one human who treat others nicely," said Rayla being respectful as well.
"Oh, I am very sorry for being offensive about your ears," said Callum only to make things worse.
"Oh, you don't like my ears," said the young female elf.
"My prince," said Solomon angrily clenching his teeth.
The prince stutters, "No. I mean, Yeah. Yes, I do, I guess."
"You're only making it worse," Solomon reprimands Callum.
"I mean… I meant the point swords," Callum corrects himself, but it was too late the deed was done.
"That's far enough. I'm looking for someone," said the elf pointing her sword.
"Oh. Uh, did you check back there," asked the prince try to distract the assassin but from what Solomon can see about this elf is that she train and cannot be fooled that easily.
That is why Solomon's arms are still in position aimed his shot at her head for when she makes a move, she will have a quick end. Then all those worries were dashed the moment she looked away and Callum uses one of the curtains to distract keep the elf preoccupied for a time while both boys start running.
"Well. I was wrong," said Solomon to himself guessing he overthought the situation. Classic human error.
Now the elf chasing them Callum hit a suite of armor to delay their pursuer, but she ran up the walls avoiding the roadblock. Once they reached the to of the castle walls they Callum ran pass the guard to tell them that the elf is behind the while Solomon is in kneeling position to get a steady shot and he has her in his sights.
The sound of the shot was taken and it was across not just the castle but to the forest as well this alerted a lot of the guard to see what the commotion is while in the wood the elves thought they heard thunder of a less cloudy day but no something is off Runaan. Back Solomon with the shot being the bullet was flying but either out of pure luck or fate the elf dodge the bullet and see a large crater on the tower that widen both the elf's thinking if she had not of dodged she be dead this human is now a greater threat with this weapon he now holds and guards were at this newest weapons abilities all while Solomon laughed at the power it gave off.
"Wow, that shot was stronger than the last time I used," said Solomon amazed by his master's work.
"Wait did you say stronger," said Callum more shocked that this weapon that caused that amount of damage was weaker before? Their alchemist is insane but given the circumstances he will count his blessing.
The elf shakes off her initial shock and goes after the boys again, but the guards were ready. With the speed of the wind Rayla dodged guards swing jump over the with acrobatic skill landing behind them. She toppled the guards by sweeping their legs except for Solomon thanks to kneeling position and she swing her swords at Solomon but thanks to his combat training Solomon blocked the swing and punched her in the gut which knock a lot of wind out of her causing to stand on her hands and knees.
"Hey, she swept the leg," said Callum feeling glad that his last strategy was a real fight.
"What," said Solomon.
"Nothing let's go," said the prince running and Solomon with gun in hand follows him.
That is when Rayla notices something on the gun users' gauntlet. It was a transmutation circle and when both boys were running, she said between breathes, "He's an alchemist?"
The elf recovered and continued her pursuit. The boys were running on the spiraling staircase and the elf is still running on the walls.
"How is she doing that," asked Solomon to no one.
"Lord Viren! Claudia! Anyone," exclaimed Callum before both boys were knock to the ground by the elf.
From his fall Callum land next to the table and losing his scroll while Solomon fall to the other side dropping his gun inches away from him. Then boys see the elf walks in and said, "You don't have to die."
"Are you giving us that offer now then earlier could have saved us some trouble. Don't you think," said Solomon's signature smart talk which earned him a glare from the elf.
"I am in no mood for jokes alchemist," said Rayla being serious and walks towards them.
"There are only two targets tonight," she explains her mission.
"Wait, two? What do you mean," asked Callum but Solomon knows the answer.
"I know what she is after and trust me miss elf, master Theo is prepared for you with his traps, but I did not expect one of you to be out here this early. Kind of risky is it not," Solomon being in a tight situation and he still tries to have fun and chuckles only to be kicked at his twig and berries knocking the wind out of him while changed her focus on Callum.
"Now the annoyance is over. I'm here for the King. And I'm also here for his son, Prince Ezran," said the assassin shocking the prince while Solomon quietly replace the fire pendant from his right gauntlet with an earth pendant.
"You can't. That's not fair. Why would you hurt someone who's done nothing wrong," said Callum try to persuade the assassin.
"Humans cut down the King of the Dragon grant their alchemy did their best to ease his pain but was never enough, and then destroyed his only egg, the Dragon Prince. Justice will not be denied," said the elf until a cough was heard which got the elf's attention.
"Sounds to me that it revenge and what my master told is that if you go an eye for an eye then that will leave many a man blind at least that is what the saying goes," said Solomon smile a grin that can irate any a prim and proper noble which was doing its job on the elf while he is waiting the right opportunity to strike.
Before she can say a retort, Callum speaks up, "Well, you found me. I am Prince Ezran."
Meanwhile in the throne room. Before King Harrow is donning his armor, he and many other heard the loud bang form outside believing the assassins are already here but the alchemist Theo calmed them down and explained that bang can from one of his inventions for the coming threat which it helped just enough to not have everyone going on a panic while some try to imagine that this mad alchemist had cooked up to make that noise. That when Viren came in carrying a wicker basket and Theo keeping eye on this monster in human skin.
"Not a great day for a picnic Viren," said the king being suspicious.
"On that, we agree," said the dark mage walk towards the king.
"Moonshadow elves are dangerous, elite fighters. Under a full moon, they become nearly invisible, and they can penetrate any defense. Nothing in the five kingdoms can stop them," those words causes Theo to scoff.
"Oh, Viren don't you remember my traps one misstep and they will be in a nasty surprise in fact you helped test them," said the elder alchemist which earned his an annoyed glare from Viren.
"Unwillingly," growled Viren.
Theo raises his hand innocently saying, "Hey you still have both your legs don't you."
"Enough both of you and I know this," said king Harrow.
"They will find you, and they will kill you," said Viren showing to Theo's shock actual concern maybe deep down in that warlock there is a heart but that is no enough to pardon him all those years together.
"Not helping, Viren," said Harrow now getting annoyed.
"But it doesn't have to be you," said Viren cause people in the room to start talking and for Theo he is worried while the king raises a questionable brow.
"In the black sands of the Midnight Desert dwells a mysterious snake called a soulfang serpent," hearing that causes Theo remember those snakes and he now know what the warlock is trying to do.
"No," exhaled the alchemist.
"The soulfang has an unusual diet. Its bite drains and consumes the spirit of its prey. On our last journey into Xadia, I acquired a rather unique specimen," said Viren putting down the basket, opens it with his staff and pulls out the two headed snake.
"Two heads, two bites, two souls held at once. And through magic, I can switch your spirit with another," what that dark mage has just said did the job.
Now red with anger Theo march towards Viren not caring about the snake until guards were holding him back, "Viren you stupid excuse for a magic user! You have crossed the line messing with the souls of living creatures is the highest caliber of offenses. You better be happy these guards hold me back because you ever offer something like that again you be begging for mercy."
"That is enough Theo guards take the alchemist out of the room so he can calm down and think properly," order Harrow and the guards did without argue but when Theo is close enough he gave Viren a stare that says l kill you which scared the dark mage.
After the distraction was taken away Viren continues. "The Moonshadow elves will find the king's body, but your spirit will survive."
That only got the mage an angry look from the king.
Back to the boys Rayla walks towards Callum ready to kill while Solomon quietly reloads the gun.
"I have to do this. I'm sorry. I don't want to, but I have to," said the elf assassin show a little form of remorse.
"Why? You know this is wrong," said the prince again trying to reason while Solomon is attaching the steam hose to the gun.
"An assassin doesn't decide right and wrong, only life and death," said the elf seriously and Solomon is now filling the gun with steam at the lowest setting to fill it and be silent enough to not be detected while replacing his right fire pendant with and earth pendant.
"That's very clever, but come on, really? How does this solve anything," said the prince.
"This is justice. Humans attacked us unprovoked."
"So, it's okay for you to do the same thing," asking about the elf's words while that was happening the gun is filled to half capacity so it can possibly do less damage.
"Well, no. It's not the same thing, because we're attacking you provoke," said the elf.
Now Solomon stands back up and spoke before the price which got the elf to look at him while he is holding the gun behind his back, "Then we are in a loop then. How annoying."
"Yeah you hurt me, someone will get revenge against the elves. It won't end," said Callum.
"Look at you your highness I guess all that reading did pay off after all," said Solomon which got Callum to smile.
That is when the elf notices something is missing from the alchemist's back, "Where did your-"
"Callum," Ezran's voice called out of nowhere.
"Shh, go away," said Callum talking the painting to which Solomon facepalmed of where stupid this is at least it is the opportunity to put back on the portable steam engine.
"I found something," said Ezran though the painting.
"Are you talking to that painting," asked the elf and Solomon looked at his gauntlet to the earth transmutation pendant is ready be used.
Callum chuckle and attempts naive innocents but failing and said, "Nows not a good time."
"You mean, because you're with a girl," asked Ezran which by those caused many a reaction Callum blushes, Solomon snort which earned him another glare from the elf, the elf being suspicious walks to the panting to reveal a secret past where Ezran is standing.
"Uh…Jelly tart," asked Ezran.
"Kid bad timing," responded Solomon.
"Kid get out of here," ordered Callum.
"Callum, what's going on," asked the littlest prince ruining the trick but on record Solomon had a feeling this was going to happen knowing his luck.
"Callum? I thought you were Prince Ezran," said the elf now figured it out that she was tricked. "You lied to me."
"Uh on record I already knew he lied to you and you are just a little slow to the punch," said Solomon being himself.
"Okay, how is that worse than trying to kill someone," said Callum.
That is when all three hears Ezran eating his tart and presenting his pet.
"Have you met bait? Say hello to my little friend," said the little prince and see the glowing Solomon takes the opportunity to slap his right palm on the ground during the flash while she was blinded and the alchemist made a cage of stone to keep the elf in place.
"Guys follow me. I have to show you something," said Ezran.
"If it is the way out then lead the way Ez," said Solomon putting away his gun on his back and follows Callum.
The elf slowly regains her vision only to be trapped inside a barred cage courtesy of Solomon. With a growl Rayla grabs her swords and cut through the bars with ease.
Back to the throne room Harrow has made his choice from Viren.
"No. I won't hide in the body of another, while someone else dies paying the price for my decisions," said Harrow and Viren now getting desperate.
"Two hundred men and women are ready to fall protecting you tonight, but you won't let one soldier sacrifice their life for you," asked the shocked mage.
The king being solemn said, "It's not the same. I would rather die a king than living as a coward."
Then that when Viren realized what the king is doing, "Ah. So, that's what this is really about."
"What are you talking about?"
The king already knows the Viren is not getting, "No, like Theo told you the problem. It's dark magic."
"Yes it is. It's clever. It's brilliant. It's practical. It will save your life and many, many others," said the dark mage being both concerned and aggressive.
"It's a shortcut. Just as Theo said. We may not pay now but we will pay the blood price eventually. What do you think got us here? Dark Magic," exclaimed the king about the repercussions in the future.
Viren scoffed, "You're acting stubborn and ungrateful. Also, the alchemist should be thankful that he had not been executed many years ago."
"Should I be grateful that you destroyed that dragon's egg? Thank you for starting this unwinnable war? Thank you for angering the dragons and the elves so much that tonight they are here for my life," angrily said Harrow just a hair close to having enough of Viren.
"Destroying that egg saved our kingdom. Maybe all of humanity," said Viren try to say is actions were for the greater good.
"It was an egg!"
"And it would have become the most powerful creature in the world!"
Harrow going tired sat down on a crate and exhaled to calm down.
"What is done cannot be undone. I am offering you a path forward. Your discomfort is understandable. You don't feel right trading your life for another's, but know this, every one of the men and women would gladly trade their life to save yours," what the mage just said made the guards feel a little uncomfortable and they start to think that they are better off with Theo.
That is when king Harrow looks at the mage and asked this question, "Would you, Viren?"
That question took him by surprise and start second guessing himself but that was more than enough to make his final decision.
The king glares at Viren and only said two words, "Get out."
Viren picked up his basket, bowed to him, and head out. Once out the room Viren see Theo down the hall to his right smiling his I told you smile but with a grunt he walks away.
In the secrete tunnel inside the castle all three boys were run as fast as they can to keep their distance from the elven assassin.
Look around the tunnels Solomon says, "I had a feel there were tunnels here, but I did not expect it that I was right."
That is when the three boys here her say, "You're only making this worse."
"Worse how," both Callum and Solomon said at the same time.
"This way," said Ezran take a left, so did Solomon, Callum almost made the mistake of taking a right but corrected it.
After a little more running the tunnel they gone to led to a deadend.
"We're trapped," said Callum.
"Well that is just great," said Solomon pulling out the gun and gets ready for the elf.
"What do we do now," Callum asked his little brother.
"Time for a puzzle," said the little prince with a smile while Solomon thought to himself saying "we're dead."
Then begins Ezran's little song of rock and stone begins and Solomon starts to grow anxious for the limited time that all three of them have.
"Wait, what's the difference between the rocks and the stones," asked Callum which cause Ezran to lose his concentration and screwed up the pattern.
Starting Callum worries while Solomon starts to sweat due to this desperate situation. That is when the youngest prince finished the pattern, they hear a click and a secret staircase that goes down appears.
"Wow," said Callum before Solomon grabbed him and Ezran saying, "No time to admire."
Once down the stairs Ezran pull a lever to fold back the stairs while Solomon activated his pendant again and to make sure it does not unfold.
"Yes," said Ez
"That should keep her busy," said Solomon now catching his breath.
"You're sure she won't be able to follow us," asked Callum.
"No way. It took me over a month to figure out that Combination," said Ezran.
"Also, with my alchemy that staircase will not unfold that easy," said Solomon until the stairs unfolds but come to a stop then came the sound of two slashes. The boys see chunks of stone fall to the ground and finished unfolding to reveal the assassin.
"*Whistle* You're good," said Solomon being rather impressed by this elf.
Ezran shocked tries to ask, "But how did you…"
"I just pressed all the stones with jelly handprints," explained the elf and for both Solomon and Ezran facepalmed while the alchemist's was hard enough that it echoed all through the tunnels.
"Really. Really!" exclaimed the alchemist to the prince now seeing a jelly print on his face.
When the elf walks down the room, she sees all these jars and item made of pieces and parts of magical creatures. Not feeling comfortable about it she asks, "What is this?"
"To be honest this my first time in this room," said Solomon giving the elf an honest answer.
Now feeling disgust, she continues, "Runaan was right. There's nothing in human's worth sparing. Times up."
Then Solomon step in again this time in front of her. Having an angry look on his face, "You and I know this and many others. Have done things that people do through history is nothing more of a hindrance to progress. All of the bloodshed, the killing, and screw it the traditions have prevented us people and may I add not just people the Dragons, the elves, and humans doing these stupid things every single day. Making others miserable and I have to agree with Callum pointless bloodshed is stupid and with you doing the job just makes you the biggest idiot of them all."
Those words just only riled the elf in further, "Humans destroyed the egg of the Dragon Prince. There must be just-."
"You mean idiotic bloodshed and if you are going to kill the kid you have to through me and to fairly let you know," said Solomon leans to her ear and whispered. "I was holding back."
For split second she was curious why he said that, but she ignores it and she get back to her fighting stance, "Really?"
After taking one step and Solomon ready to use his fire before the little prince spoke and grabbed both fighters' attention, "Wait. You need to see something."
"I'm not falling for that flashing frog trick again," said the elf.
"She's telling the truth," said Solomon.
"He's a glow toad, but there's no trick this time. Please, look," said Ezran pointing to a covered podium.
The elf takes a second to see the prince is being truthful while Solomon is at the ready with his fire pendant glowing signaling that it is ready to be used.
Not sensing any dishonest she says, "Fine. You uncover it. Slowly."
That is what Ezran is doing and says, "I can hear something inside, something alive."
Once the cover was removed what was under it is a blue egg glowing like and enchanted stone. Shocking both alchemist and elf.
"It…it can't be."
"The egg. It wasn't destroyed," said Callum amazed just as the alchemist and elf.
Back to king Harrow.
The king put his crown back on and walks to a room to see Soren hold his sword for him. After sheathing it the king sighs that this night will be his last. Now walking at the courtyard every guard is at the ready for the coming threat tonight. Once both kings and guard made it to his room the remaining guards position themselves even with guards at the king's balcony with pip the bird simple looking at them. Tonight, will be the night that everything is going to change.
The king wears his cape and does a few practice swings with his sword then came Pip flying to the king and perched on his shoulder.
Harrow looks at the bird sadly and says, "This may be the end."
They cannot speak but it does what he can to cheer up his owner by rubbing his cheek against his owner's head.
"Aw, who gives the best birdie kisses. Pip does," said Harrow feeling slightly better by the birds love.
The opens to reveal the elder alchemist Theo which pip happy to see the alchemist chirped flies on above Theo and perches on top of his head making him look like he is wearing a wig.
"I'm happy to see you as well pip, but now is not the time I'm afraind," what Theo said causes the bird to give a sad tweet and flies back to Harrow.
Theo bows and says, "Your highness I Theo Von Licht, will wish to be at your side for this coming battle."
The king nods, "You are permitted just a quick question thou. Is that your failed cloud maker."
The old alchemist smiles being glade the recognizes it on his back, "Yes it may have failed in making clouds, but I believe tonight this machine has another purpose."
Harrow knows the alchemist long enough that if one if his invention had failed there will be another purpose for it in the invention's future and in a sense he is thankful to invest his horseless carts to be manufactured maybe in Xadia's future things will be better after he's gone but until then fate has to decide. He nods to the alchemist to leave. Theo now out of the king's room stands to the doorway between the courtyard and king while Soren questions the alchemist.
"Uh. Elder alchemist Theo why are you standing at the doorway?"
Theo chuckle being amused by Verin's son, "Oh, you do not have your father brains, but I think that is a blessing. To answer your question. This thing on my back holds enough hot steam to melt a man's flesh in seconds and trust me."
Theo lift the hose while holding a handle with his right hand and the lever to release the is being held by the left continues, "You do not want to be near with the steam."
Theo got the guards to step further away from him for their own safety.
"I'm ready for you. You pointy eared jokes," said Theo to no one with a look of a man ready to die fighting.
Meanwhile both Viren and Claudia where walking down the halls talking about the king's rejection of taking the help.
"But I don't understand. The switching spell will save his life. Why would he say no," ask Claudia oblivious to the kings set of principles.
"King Harrow is a principled man," responded his father.
Rolling her eyes Claudia says, "You mean stubborn."
"Watch you tone. But, yes, he is hardheaded," Viren disciplining his daughter while walking inside his study.
"Usually thinks about the right things, but about this…*sigh* I don't know," said Viren feeling like he failed his best friend.
Claudia looks at the painting of his father, the king, and a younger Theo standing side-by-side and said, "You look so…happy in this portrait."
"I was. In fact even both me and Theo were great partners making those crazy toys of his," said Verin reminiscing the good times and notices the last gift Theo gave him it was a very small handcrafted metal fox to make his desk less gloomy caused him to have a small smile.
He looks back up to the portrait and said, "We posed for this a few days after King Harrow's coronation. Theo's body was so impatient that when a break was called his body literally gave up on him."
The moment caused him to chuckle just a little and to Claudia she was happy to at least help her father.
"Harrow insisted that me and Theo stand next to him for the painting…because he knew we would stand by him through anything and even that alchemist when he got knocked down he didn't gave up he kept on push himself to be better."
"And both of you have," said Claudia.
"So far, yes," said Viren sadly.
Then after some thought he now know what he should do, "I have to stand by him through this, Too. With both of them. I need to be the man they once believed I was."
"What does that mean, Dad," asked Claudia.
"It means there's one more thing I can do to convince both of them," said Viren taking the basket and a few steps back to the door.
"What are you doing," Viren's daughter asks again.
"If I told you, you would try to stop me," answered Viren.
"So, shouldn't I just try to stop you then, even without knowing," asks Claudia now even more curious on what his father is doing.
"Goodbye, Claudia," said Viren leaving the room not saying another word.
Once Viren is out of the room Claudia found the scroll the king gave to Callum. Now curious where it came from, she notices something on the paintings frame which was persimmon jelly and she just notices the pile of stones that was once a cage on the floor.
"Now where did that get there," asked Claudia and with a pull on the painting she found the hidden passage.
The tunnels being too dark she looked at her hand and snaps her finger twice to get it to glow a light so she can see. At first it flickers off but with a few pats it is back on again and continues down the tunnels.
At the hidden camber.
The three humans and elf look at the egg still shocked from the reveal the only one to break the silence was the elf saying, "This changes everything."
"I do not believe it. It's still here all this time. My master told me it was shatter. He heard it himself," said Solomon still not believing what he is seeing.
"So, this is it? The egg of the Dragon Prince," asked Callum taking a closer look to the egg.
"I agree with what the alchemist said. If the egg lives…," said the elf.
"Maybe it could stop the war."
"It could finally bring peace to Xadia," said Solomon agreeing is Callum.
They walked closer to the to see it is not damaged.
"He's okay in there. I can feel it," said Ezran and that just causes Solomon to be curious about the prince.
"Your highness how do you know that dragon is a he? In fact, how can you tell," asked the knowledgeable alchemist and what he got was a shoulder shrug from the prince as a response.
"But how? Why wasn't it destroyed," asked Callum stammering.
"Because my father saved it," said Claudia right behind them which causes the elf to unsheathe her sword and Solomon pulling out his loaded gun.
"Claudia," said Callum.
"Callum, Ezran, and Solomon get behind me. I can protect you from the elf," said Claudia while saying Solomon's name made feel digust.
"Not a chance," said Solomon having a good shot on his target and knowing she thinks this is a new crossbow.
"Your father didn't save it. He stole it," said the elf accusingly pointing her sword.
"That's a lie," exclaimed Claudia.
"No, it is not," said Solomon. He maybe not like the but comparing the two he prefers the elf.
"Then, Claudia, why is it here," ask Callum stepping in front of both elf and gun using alchemist.
With price Ezran now in the line of the shot he cannot take the risk of hurting him but just his luck he still as his gauntlets.
"My father took it to protect us, Callum, so the elves and dragons couldn't use it," said Claudia trying to convince Callum but to Solomon he can see right through her.
"That is so much bull that he needs a farm to keep it all. This egg is a child not a weapon and I for one want to say this you need to be out of your father's shadow and grow the inferno up. Before you're killed," said Solomon and by looking at his face Claudia knows that one wrong move with him and she is dead.
"What are you even talking about? How can we use it," asked the elf having the same response as the alchemist.
"Don't play dumb," exclaimed Claudia. "You know it's a powerful weapon."
"It's not a weapon. It's an egg!" shouted the elf.
"Yeah the only real weapons here are me, my master's invention, and your disgusting dark magic," Solomon agreeing with the elf and he is not lying on how capable he is.
"Ezran, don't be afraid. Walk towards me, and if she moves even an inch…" said Claudia preforming a lightening spell.
"And if you make a I will be happy to say you were a good test dummy," said Solomon smiling at his sick joke.
Both elf and alchemist were ready for a fight but for the princes they very scared.
"Just bring that thing here," order the mage.
"Make us," remarked the alchemist.
"It's not a thing!" the elf shouts again. "It has mother, and it needs to go back to her."
"At least that little guy has someone to go back to," said Solomon to himself somberly.
"You're right. It wants its mother," said Ezran after looking at the egg.
"Ezran be careful," Said Claudia.
The young prince looks at the egg and then the others not knowing what to do. After looking into the elf's eyes, he can tell that she is on their side.
"Follow me," Ez ordered and that is what the elf did.
"Don't worry, I won't his Ez," said Claudia casting her spell but in just a split-second Callum moved her and the lightening hit the ceiling.
Callum grabbed one of the cuffs and clasped one on her wrist and Solomon knowing what the prince is doing put away the gun and clasp the other cuff on her free hand.
"Callum, what are you doing," asked Claudia.
"The right thing. I hope," said Callum running of and taking the primal stone off the floor while Solomon stopped right at the doorway and looks at Claudia dead in the eye.
"Next time we meet you won't be so lucky," said Solomon once he steps through the door, he slapped his palm with the earth pendant and then bars were formed to block anyone coming through. She tries to go after them, but the short length of the chains stopped her.
Unannounced to Solomon the cuff that he put on her wrist has rusted chains after many days of not being cleaned. Knowing this she pulls chain twice and is snapped and her right hand is free, but left is still chained. By looking at it, it is newer than the rusted one so she tries to wiggle it loose. No luck there.
She looks around and found a table with a candle. She lights it pulls a jar of odd powder and sprinkles it to the fire causing it to turn purple. The with a chant she blows the candle and black purple fog bellows out from it taking the forms of two wolves going through the bars and going after their target.
While both Callum and Solomon were running to catch up to the others, they both hear the howls which scared Callum to looking back to see the black smoke wolves, but Solomon not letting him get left behind and pushes him to keep moving.
"Move. Move," ordered Solomon.
"There something after us," said Callum.
The elf assassin stops, pulls out her swords and set herself a fighting position while Solomon did the same but added more pendants which were are and water to his gauntlets activating all four of his pendants ready for the threat. Given the situation his going to need both hands for this.
"Keep running," said elf.
"And don't look back," said the alchemist.
After Callum was ahead Ezran feels like something is wrong about head that direction.
"Wait, not that way," said the little prince.
"Why not," asked Callum before he hits face first to wall.
"Because it's a dead-end," said Ez stating the obvious.
Before those smoke wolves arrive, Solomon looks to the elf and offers a challenge, "I say I will beat my wolf before yours. If you got the guts?"
Rayla looked the human alchemist thinking that his crazy but looking him it like he waited this opportunity for a long time so to humor him she accepted the challenge. Once the wolves were in few the elf made the first move hitting both wolves, but it did not work. Solomon seeing this helps her by using the air pendant and the methods of lightening and electricity. Bolts of small whitish blue lightening spread across his left arm and throws a bolt at one wolf which by the whimper it felt that.
Rayla dodge the other's bite but see the first one's bite mark on still searing. She attempts to attack the uninjured wolf again but yield the same results as before. The two wolves rematerialize again slow walking towards the four.
"I can't stop them. They're just smoke. My swords pass right through," said the elf.
"Smoke that some how got hit with… That is it air alchemy and sky magic that's their weakness. Callum you still have the stone right," asked Solomon's discovery of this spells weakness.
"Ye-Yeah right here," said Callum lifting the orb while the smoke wolves growl.
After a moment of thought Callum remembers the wind spell earlier today.
"You think there might be something I can do, but I don't know if I can do it," said Callum not being confident.
"Is this a guessing game? Just do it!" ordered the elf.
"There is a first time for everything Cal," said Solomon charging some wind in his hands.
Callum wrote the same ruin from earlier and said, "Aspiro."
Then with the howl of wind and the added gale from Solomon. The winds pushed back the smoke wolves at the middle of their jump making them disappear.
"You did it!" cheer Ezran.
"Way to go Cal. First it taught you alchemy and now you are casting spell. Now who is full of surprises. Hahaha," said Solomon giving his friend a light friendly punch to Callum's shoulder.
"You never mentioned that you friend is a mage," said the elf.
"Who, me? No, I'm…I'm not really anything," said Callum but Solomon does not want hear any of that.
"Hey, don't sell yourself short Cal. You did great now we need to work on your transmutation circles," said Solomon mumbling the last sentence.
"You just did magic," exclaimed Ezran excitedly.
"Yeah, that's what a mage is. You're a mage," sated the elf to Callum.
"Oh, Really," asked Callum then Solomon steps in.
"Yeah really and maybe with the needed education of alchemy you could most likely be the best magic user in the west. Well with my help that is," said Solomon laughing to actually have a listening student and by comparing the two. Solomon is going to put Callum through the inferno to get him that good.
This boosted his confidence quit a sum. "Wow, I'm a mage. I'm a mage!" said Callum shouting the last sentence which his cheer is echoed across the tunnels.
"Nobody like a loud mage," said the Elf shushing the princes cheer.
"Maybe take a few steps back from the shouting please," said Solomon happy that Callum be a somebody to his eyes, but the time cheer loudly left with the sun.
Callum apologizes for his outburst, but he is still happy even with the support from his alchemist friend and thus the quartet continues their search for an exit.
At the staircase to king Harrow's room, Viren is ascending the stairs and once he is at the top, he is met face to face with Theo. Who is holding the machine that can melt a human in minutes looking threating.
"Viren," Theo growled.
"Theo," said Viren have a look of defeat on him and this got Theo to calm down in a matter of fact curious about his change in attitude.
What Theo see before was no longer the stiff dark mage who is authoritative and demanding instead just looking at him right he looks just like the old Viren he remembers vulnerable but yet caring so he lowered his improvised weapon down and ask, "Why are you up here Viren?"
"I want to… I want to be at the king's side. If this will be his last night to be with us then I am willing to not just stand by his side but for all three of us together for all times sake," said Viren being actually genuine.
That is when Theo notices the basket from before and asked his next, "Are you still trying to get him to take the offer Viren."
"I," Viren paused and that was more than enough of an answer for Theo but he at takes a deep breath he want his last not to be full with hate but a great battle to stand for their king and loved ones.
"Viren, I understand your concern for him but what I have said back at the throne is true. Messing with souls is both dangerous and disgusting and Harrow is more than willing to lay down his life his people. What we did back at Xadia and the deaths we committed I never forgave myself. Even if it is for the good of the kingdom a life taken is still a life take. *huff* Don't betray either of our trust for one last time okay V."
Viren was shocked he had never heard the nickname for such a long time in matter of fact good memories were returning to the mage with a smile of understanding Viren nodded to Theo and Theo steps aside for Viren to pass once gone through while take the steps he can see the alchemist still having doubts but trust him enough to at least and fight like brother in arms. Theo went back into position waiting for the enemy.
Now Soren seeing his father holding the basket he asks, "So, what's in the basket? A bigger moth.
"It is something that will help the king when all your swords and Theo's weapon have failed," said the mage while Theo shakes his head to the mage's words.
"Uh, you… You know they can hear you right," asked Soren pointing out the guards next to them.
"I heard you Viren," Theo chimed.
"He knows sir," said the guard.
"I am prepared to do anything to protect the king. Anything. I hope you will understand," hear what Viren said Theo knew that it was genuine and his happy to have the friend he knew back for at least one last time. Soren felt the same way.
Back to the tunnels the four who has the had been walking for quite some time and Solomon is starting to question Ezran's sense of direction. That is when the elf walks up to the prince and orders the prince to give the egg.
"What, ok. I willing to trust when we're fighting those smoke wolves but I am 90 out of a hundred sure not trust you plus you hit me in the unmentionables," said Solomon about how feel about the elf and remember the painful moment he experienced.
The elf gave a wary look and said, "You deserved it, but I can at least thank you for the help, but I have to get it to the roof, Right away."
"What why," said Ezran questioning the elf.
"You just have to trust me."
Callum rolled his eyes, "Right, right. That makes sense. Since we go way back. Like that one time, ten minutes ago, when you chased me and Sol through the castle trying to stab me? *laughs* Good Times."
Solomon nods to the prince's retelling of past events.
"You might not realize it, but I'm trying to help you. Any moment now, others will be arriving. Others like me," said the elf being serious.
Callum knows what she is talking about, "Assassins."
"I need to show them the egg to stop them. Just give it to me," she ordered.
"Look miss elf-"
"Rayla," Rayla interrupts Solomon.
"Rayla, I get it what you are trying to do and I understand the severity of the situation but like I said before we do not have our full in you yet and besides this Ez's since he is holding the egg," said Solomon correcting the name mistake.
After some thought Ezran said, "I'll take you to the roof."
After both Callum and Ezran moved forward Solomon said to Rayla, "At least it is not a no."
Only to get a deadpan look as a response to the alchemist words and they all continue for work on their path.
In the king's room Harrow looks at a picture of his wife sadly while Viren enters the room.
"I've given thought to what you and Theo said," spoke Vire.
"Oh, have you," said Harrow taking a seat to the closest chair and sharpening his sword. "Then why have you returned with that abomination?"
"Yes, I've brought the soulfang. I have a proposal. Let me explain," offered Viren and the king looks at him.
"Go on," Harrow ordered.
Viren sighs and gone up the stairs, "You are my king…but you and Theo are also my friends."
"Your friends," asked the king.
"Yes. Right now, I do not come to you as my king. I think of you…as my brother," said Viren being insistent.
"I see the problem now. It's that you believe you are special, better than everyone else, above the laws of this Kingdom," said Harrow accusingly.
Viren gotten scared said, "That's not what I was trying to say. Please, listen."
"Assassins are coming to murder me tonight, and you're wasting what precious time I have left," spoken the king getting more angered.
"No, Harrow, I-"
"Stop. How about, "No, Your Highness." In fact, let's try, "Yes, Your Highness" for a change," said Harrow having enough.
"Oh, are you sure you wouldn't prefer "Your Royal Highness"? "Your Esteemed Inimitable Majesty," perhaps," said Viren getting riled as well.
"I have tolerated your arrogance for long, maybe even encouraged it. But if today is my last day as king, you will know your place," the king being serious.
"And where exactly is that place," asked Viren arrogantly.
"Right here," said Harrow pointing his finger to the ground. "On…your…knees."
And so Viren has done that he has take a knee before the king bowing.
"You are a servant of the kingdom of Katolis. You are a servant," said the king being true to his word but tonight many things will happen behind closed doors.
Back to the for we see Rayla sneaking around avoiding the guards until she has gotten top a location on top of the walls feeling someone is there.
"You're here. I know you are," said the elf looking at her surroundings.
"Rayla," Runaan said walk towards her. "You defied me."
"Runaan, you need to call off the mission," Rayla begged.
"You've lost your mind."
"Please, listen to me. I found something. The egg of the Dragon Prince," said Ralya telling her what saw.
"That's Impossible," said Runnan flabbergasted by the news.
"The egg wasn't destroyed, it was stolen. Their High mage was going to use it for dark magic, but the human princes and alchemist found it and they're only trying to help-"
"No. Humans are liars even if one of them is an alchemist," said Runaan interrupting Rayla. "This is a trick and a trap. You are a fool Rayla."
"She's not a fool," said Callum walking out of his hiding spot.
"The only fool his tonight is you for not listening," stated Solomon who right behind Callum.
"What she's telling you is true."
"You've made a terrible mistake," said Runaan pulling out and while Solomon activated both air and earth pendants with his left hand surging with electricity while his right glows a dim green ready for what this elf has on hand.
"Ez, show him," Callum ordered his little brother.
Ezran stepped out of his hiding spot and show the egg to the assassin.
"It's beautiful," Runaan stammered.
"How can we take vengeance for an act that neve happened? You have to call it off," Rayla begged again.
"Rayla, you know it doesn't work that way. We bound ourselves. There's only one way to release," said Runaan and Solomon what he meant and so he steps in front of Ezran still waiting his first move.
"Runaan, please. There has to be another way. This is a miracle, a chance for peace," said Rayla trying desperately to help him listen to reason.
"The humans struck down the King of the Dragons. Justice will not be denied. Now, give me the egg," demanded Runaan.
"Wow, you are the thickest person I have ever met and I thought Viren was bad," said Solomon who was shocked the assassin's blind dedication grant he is loyal to his kingdom but he is to closed mind for his own good. Oh well.
Rayla pulls out her swords and sets herself a fighting stance to not let Runaan near them.
"Callum, Ezran, Solomon, go," she ordered.
"Just keep it safe and Solomon don't let your guard down," said Rayla and Solomon gave he an understanding nod and all three humans ran.
As the clouds part the full moon shows its shine to signal the start of the elves fight.
"Don't do this," said Runaan pulling out his swords and turning invisible. "I will kill you."
"Probably," smirked Rayla turning invisible as well.
To the princes and alchemist, they run down the stairs heading towards the courtyard where Callum found a cart full of hay and for Solomon he turned off his air pendant to not zap any of the princes and pulls out the gun. It may only give one shot, but it can do a lot of damage.
"You need to stay here, hidden," Callum said tossing his brother in the hay including his toad. "Keep the egg safe. I'll go talk to the king."
Ezran stick out his head through the hay and asks, "Callum, why don't you just call him "Dad"?"
"Because he's the king. And I'm his stepson," said Callum's excuse.
"I think he would want you to. If you wanted to," said Ezran.
"I don't know about that," said Callum being not sure.
"Callum, Harrow has been more of a father to as is master Theo is to me," said Solomon smiling until both Callum and Solomon hear a boom and sprits sound. When they look up to where they last saw Rayla they see Runaan covered in foam and wiping it off.
"Guess he found one of the traps master set," stated Solomon.
"Be right back," said Callum taking off and Solomon turns to Ezran.
"I am going to be next to him to keep him safe. You stay put you got me," said Solomon which he got a nod from the prince and the alchemist takes off to catch up to the prince.
Both Callum and Solomon push through the guards only to be stopped by both Soren and Theo.
"Whoa, slow down there, step-prince. The king's pretty busy right now. Trying not to, you know, die and stuff," said Soren to Callum.
"And Solomon why are you and the prince doing here haven't you two left the castle," ask Theo.
"You're not stopping me," said Callum pushing Soren aside to get to his father's room only to have Viren blocking the way.
"Both of you should not be here," stated Viren given both boy a glare.
Callum steps back while Solomon held the closer to his body ready to take a shot at the dark mage.
Meanwhile the fight between two elves continue even after setting of one of the elder alchemist's traps Runaan is doing well against Rayla and vice versa. Until both of their swords clash together and Runaan says, "You're better than this. No, not really. You've had about 20 years more training."
"Not your fighting skills. I mean your character," said before Runann kicked Rayla to a wall but she recovered.
Then arrows were flying right at so Rayla dodges while block some with her swords. After a few more clashes of the blades Rayla says, "You saw the egg. There's no need for vengeance tonight."
After some more swings and clashes the two elves start to hear a symphony of explosions but with no sounds of pain or surprise. Most like some the assassins use some rocks or stick to set them off. After a pause between clash, Rayla takes a few breathes and take a look to the tower. Runaan seeing that he realized something.
"You're just trying to stall me," said Runaan with surprise.
"Interesting theory. Care to discuss," Rayla leaning on her sword like a cane.
Runaan know he does not have time for this farce said, "Your justice will come later."
Then he takes off, Rayla tried to stop him but he is gone.
"I know what you did. You stole the egg of the Dragon Price. We found it, and we're keeping it safe," said Callum to Viren accusingly.
"We," said Viren.
"Princes Callum, Ezran, and me you warlock," said Solomon having a death glare towards Viren and this shock Theo to his core.
"Viren, you told me you destroyed it I actually heard the shatter. You lied to me no you lied to everyone. You scheming two head snake," said Theo getting more aggressive with each sentence.
"The king will have you in shackles when he finds out about this," said Callum but Viren he has a cool face.
"What makes you so sure he doesn't already know," asked Viren which causes Callum to cower but to Theo and Solomon their eyes widen.
"What," asks in surprise.
"Grab him," ordered Viren only to realize the Solomon point the gun at Viren's head.
"But he's the prince," said Soren
"Do it," demanded.
"If anyone takes another step the mage is going to get a third eye hole," said Solomon.
"You dare threaten me you commoner," Viren hisses in anger.
"Only in response to you threatening the prince and both me and master were right you are nothing more than a monster," said Solomon with not just all his pendants glowing but also have a clear shot for Viren given the close enough distance between the two.
Callum attempted to run but two guards grabbed. Solomon became distracted enough for Soren to punch him in the face made him lose grip of the gun and fell on to the floor with a clank with also his pendants losing their glow. Two more guards came up and grabbed Solomon as well.
"Now, tell me. Where is the egg," Viren demands.
"Eat manure," said Solomon spitting at Viren's face which earned him a punch from one of the guards.
"I'll call out. I'll scream," said Callum to get Viren to stop what he is doing.
"Go ahead," said Viren grabbing something from his robe, crushing it, doing his chant which a green fog is forming.
Right before he finishes the chant Theo punched the dark mage now filled to the brim with anger, hatred, and betrayal oozing out of him. The guards, prince, and apprentice can feel his malice coming out of him.
"You Viren a traitor and liar to not just me but to all of this kingdom. As the elder alchemist I demand you stand down or face punishment for your transgressions," said Theo who is done with Viren antics also his attempt to hurting both the prince and his adopted son.
"You are a fool Theo you always are I am doing this for all of humanity," said Viren nursing the check Theo had punch. "That prince and your "son" are impudent mongrels. They have been spoiled and given everything…and that has left you both weak and helpless. Tonight, your world is changing, and there is nothing you or anyone can-"
Hearing all that angered Solomon and in an instant the air and fire pendants became active a blue fire swirls around him causing the guards to back away, stop Viren's talking and walks towards Viren like an executioner holding the axe to chop his head.
"Stop," both Theo and Soren said at once.
"Viren is my problem if I do survive the encounter, I will be happy to deal with this snake right here personally. You and the prince need to get out right now," said Theo until the flames of each torch is put out and Theo know why.
"They're here. Solomon get out of here now," demanded Theo running to the doorway holding both hose and nuzzle prepared for the coming threat.
Then on instinct Theo move his head slightly right having an arrow miss his head only to have Soren to get hit but to his luck his armor stopped it before penetrating his skin.
"Everyone gets in position," Ordered Theo.
"Defend the doors," Soren joins in with one the guards pushing Solomon next to Callum.
On a feeling Theo released the steam but it was too late the first cloaked elf grabbed Theo of his shoulders and tosses him across the room hitting his head knock him out for a time while the elf takes on a few other guards. There rest of the assassins came in to join the fight a symphony of swords clash flooded the room unknown to the that the people kicked unintentionally kicked the gun to Solomon and he picked it up to only put away there were too many for one bullet might as well save the shot for later. So to make sure can still fight he activated all for of his pendants again.
Both boys see Viren trying to avoid being hit but there was no such luck for him and has gotten lock down on the ground again. One the elven assassins try to break down the door only to be distracted by Soren.
"King Harrow," Callum calls out.
"Callum, we need go," said Solomon.
"Dad," Callum tries again now worrying.
The elves were fairing better than the guards that lead to Soren and the guards to be corner.
"Callum," Ez called that shocked both the price and alchemist.
"No. No. No. What are you doing," said Solomon aloud see the little prince out of the hay.
"Callum where? Callum," Ezran kept shouting.
Both boys look at the battle again they see Viren got back up still avoiding the conflict like the coward he is and Solomon seeing his master/father on the floor like a log.
"Callum we. Need. To. Go," said Solomon trying to get through to him.
To Solomon Callum took a second too long and grabbed his hand to take him out of danger.
"I'm sorry," said Solomon for not just apologizing to his friend to his master/father as well not stepping to help in a sense he has failed them all. That is when unknown to Callum a painful tear ran down Solomon's cheek, but he wiped it away just as Theo said no time for tears he has a job to fulfilled and he'll be damned if he fails. Callum almost fell but Solomon was there catch him.
The prince sees the dead guar who gave their life for their king to Solomon this is one of the reasons he makes the golem to not have anyone to waist the own life. Callum in a way is thank you for someone there to help him that this dark time.
Back to the hall with the assassin Runann walked up to Theo put his sword close to his neck and asks, "Are you the alchemist who tried to help the Dragon King?"
"Yes, through my hard work I brew my strongest healing potion I had ever concocted but it was never enough," answered Theo.
Runaan looked him with a form of respect this alchemist while he is still a human did his best to help look the other alchemists before him. This human maybe the only human he'll like and now he has to kill him.
"Out of respect, your name," Runaan asks.
"Theo," Theo answers.
"Out of respect, Theo, I give you a merciful death sounds fair," asked the assassin and Theo gave him a nod then looks at Viren in spite.
"I will see you in the inferno. Viren," said Theo before a quick slash was heard and Theos body goes limp.
Both Callum and Solomon made it to the courtyard Callum was windy in comparison to Solomon though still breathing heavy he is still standing straight.
"Callum, Sol. Did you talk with Dad," asked the little prince.
"Ez, we were too late, and we need to be gone like about yesterday," said Solomon trying to keep a brave face but the elf knew that was an act.
All four them still hear the sounds of swords clash up in the tower.
"Say the word and I'll go back into that tower with you," offered Rayla.
"Rayla I appreciated the sentiment that is the true, but it is too dangerous, and we all need to leave. That includes you horns if we are going to stop this war, we need all hands for this," said Solomon.
He may have failed his master/father and king, but he will not fail to save all life in this world while protect the princes that includes the egg and to that he needs to grow and adapt. That is what an alchemist does in the past and that is what he will do it.
"Solomon is right its up to us now. We have to return this egg. We have to keep it safe and carry it to Xadia," said Callum.
"And find its mother," said Ez.
"We can change things. We could make a difference," said Rayla.
"Just the four of us," said Callum before Bait pops his head giving a croak.
"Uh, five of us," Callum corrected.
Rayla nods to Callum and now the team forged through fate now running to get out the castle. Rayla stop the group waiting to guards are gone. Once there was no one in sight they press forward through the bridge, but they all stopped looking back to the castle giving the final farewell to there used to be home.
"Callum, do you think Dad will be okay," Ezran asks.
Solomon does not have the charisma to make a lye but Callum beat him to it saying, "He has the finest guards in the kingdom defending him."
"Yeah. Yeah, of course."
It pains Solomon to give the young prince a half truth but both Callum and Solomon know it will be too much for to handle hearing that his father is dead. So, all four continued onward to their journey.
Back at the tower, there is Runaan trying to keep balance. He is battered and bruised with some blood dripping from his side he has gotten to the balcony and once there his bind unravels still retaining its silver color Runaan too focused on delivering the message did not look at the bind.
The collapses on to his knees holding the arrow to deliver the message that the king is dead but once he wrapped the bind to the arrow, he sees that is retained it natural color.
"What," surprised and not having enough time to figure it out he continue with the delivery. He said his chant and launched the arrow which it turns into a red fogged bird flying through the sky. Runaan lowers his head now surround by the guards.
"Finish this," Runann ordered.
"My pleasure," said Soren only to be stopped by his sister.
"We can find a more practical use for this one.," said Claudia glaring at the elf. "Tie him up."
Back to the four they are still running with all their might to get as far away from the castle as possible and Rayla slows down. Seeing her bind has fallen off but retained it color shocking the wondering what went wrong but she sees the message is being delivered with the same colored bind so it must mean he is dead but not the spirit somehow.
Callum concerned asks "What's going on? Something wrong."
"No, its… we should stop and rest soon. It's a long journey to Xadia," said Rayle but Solomon knows that she is covering something up that is when saw her band missing and see the band on the ground retaining it silver look that got Solomon curious. That will be a topic that he will question her later but now there are other priorities to take care of. Saving the world.
A/n: And done I have crammed three full episodes to one chapter. Here are some answers to quest to any of you readers would ask. Alchemy it is introduced as a new source but it is a form of mystical science it can be taught to everyone including the elves and dragons but due to them already being used to magic there is no need for it but to humans almost everyone can use alchemy but a certain number of alchemist can be as strong as an arch-mage in power. Through alchemy medicine has improved quite better in comparison to medicine in the Dark ages. Second there has been a theory of king Harrow being alive to I am adding that to my fic as well.
If anyone have more questions feel free to PM me and I will get to you soon but you to comment to critique leave in review. Until next chapter have a good day.