Chapter 2: Of Kings, Towers and Gizmos


Of course, if Astral had said anything to contradict what the Minister assumed, then he would have looked stupid, so he played along, cool, calm and collected:
“Er…. yes! Yes, I brought them here to, er… investigate what’s been happening. Yes, that’s it,” he said, with another angry glare directed at me.
“Well kids, we’d better go have a look around the Tower of the Ancients, I’m sure we can work all of this out, if you’ll excuse us, Minister.”
He didn’t say any more to us as we hurriedly walked through the long corridors of Granseal Castle. Drawing near to our destination, Astral paused and drew in a deep breath. He told us to wait outside the tower while he checked it out. While he was checking it out, we had a bit of a wander around outside. Behind the tower I found a strange looking grey rock, which I put in my pocket (and forgot about).

“Okay kids, come on in!”, came Sir Astral’s voice from within the tower.
He was on his hands and knees, muttering to himself. Sarah walked over to join him,
“Stay back!”, Astral warned her, in something close to a whisper.
Sarah, being a goody goody walked back to join me and Chester.
“I’ve seen this symbol before… I can’t remember quite what – “
but before Astral could finish his sentence, the grim reality hit him, and as it did we too knew what was wrong, for before us was something hideous. Despite it’s repulsive appearance there was something about it that just made you want to keep looking at it.
“Don’t just stand there, do something!”, cried Sarah, who was obviously scared. If she had been part of Max’s force she wouldn’t have lived long. Just as well there was only one evil gizmo there. Why, if it had been more, maybe I would have been scared too. I looked over my shoulder at her and gave her a reassuring smile,
“We can take ‘im!”, I said with confidence, though I knew that Sir Astral would be the one to do that.
“em”, Chester responded.
“What?”, I questioned, but as I spoke I saw fear in Chester’s eyes.
“em”, he said again, nervously, “You said: ‘We can take ‘im’, but it’s not just ‘im anymore, there’s loads of ’em!”.
Now I was scared. But, I had to be strong for my two friends. I glanced over at Astral, but he appeared helpless to the powers of the gizmo’s, just standing there, staring. It was time for me to take command, or we’d all be dead. Charging into action, I swung my wooden sword in front of me. My attempt was no good though, the gizmo was simply too fast that time, but that wasn’t gonna put me off: my friends lives were in danger. I charged again, this time I was more lucky, hitting the gizmo right on, he was stunned for a moment and I took this opportunity to strike him again. I’d never killed before, and I was sure that if I ever did I would feel terrible about it, but it was different this time, I had done it in the name of the Powers of Light and for my friends lives.

Once Chester and Sarah saw my success they were not as scared. Chester was next to join in the fray, and though he didn’t manage to kill he did do some serious damage, leaving the enemy vulnerable to another attack from yours truly. However, while my attention was diverted something terrible happened. I heard a scream, and immediately turned to see if Sarah was alright. She was fine, keeping well away from the battle. I wheeled around to see blood all over the ground and as I lifted my head I saw Chester with a huge gash in his rear left leg. But there was nothing I could do for him, we just had to keep going, there were still three gizmos remaining.

I continued to fight, but in the back of my mind I was hoping – praying – that Sarah would help us. Almost as if she had read my mind I saw her rising from the corner of the room to her full height, her arms outstretched in a position I knew meant she was weaving a spell. But what use would that be? She didn’t know any attack spells, all she knew were priest spells… heal! So that’s what she was doing! She was gonna heal Chester. And not a minute too late either, I could see he’d lost a lot of blood, and it was all he could do just to keep standing, flailing his wooden stick around in hope of hitting something. A flash of light! Sarah had worked her magic and suddenly a new strength seemed to well up inside of Chester. He seemed like a new man… er… horse…. er… Centaur!

Suddenly our prospects of winning looked better, me and Chester were knockin’ them out left right and centre and Sarah was on our six, heal at the ready should we need it. Naturally we both got a few cuts and bruises but nothing serious and within a few minutes our first ever battle together was over. I didn’t expect there to be any more, well not for us anyway. I mean, we’re just a bunch of kids, right?