A Different World Chapter 3

The Red Dragon landed about fifty yards away from the tower’s base and let her passengers climb off her back onto solid ground. Kevin let out a low whistle as he gazed up at the tower trying to find the right words to describe it. He soon gave up and settled with, “Impressive ain’t it?”

Michael nodded as he too looked up at the Blue Spire, “They say this is the oldest thing in all of Lunar. It’s even older than Ghaleon himself.”

“Yup,” Kevin agreed. “I suppose that the Goddess Althena built it before she died and chose Ghaleon as her successor.”

Again Michael nodded.

“Are you boys planning on staring at it all day? I know its pretty and all, but c’mon so am I, and you two can stare at me anytime you feel like.”

The two friends spun around at the sound of her voice realizing for the first time that Ruby had returned to her human form. “Not true. My good man the Dragonmaster might have that luxury, but I haven’t seen you in ages,” Kevin explained in a mock business like voice. “But I suppose that it is for the best after all. If you were around me all day I’d never get any work done. I’d be content to look at you until my eyes bled.”

“I’m flattered, really” Ruby responded in the same mock tone of voice. “And charmed might I add. I would even consider asking you on a date. But I’m afraid I find that eye bleeding thing a little unnerving.”

Kevin shrugged, his face adopting a fake frown, “Yeah, my bleeding eyes seem to have that effect on all the girls. I guess maybe I should get a doctor to look at them before I grow old and lonely.” With that he slumped off toward the Blue Spire.

The others followed him. Ruby laughing, and Michael grinning broadly. He was used to Kevin hitting on Ruby, so it didn’t bother him in the slightest when he did (and he did frequently when she was around). He had been putting the moves on her since the first time they met the lady dragon. Kevin had thought it was fantastic that one of Ghaleon’s four dragons was so beautiful, and he thought that it would be drop dead hilarious to hit on her. It was.

Ruby’s surprised face when Kevin made his first move had been priceless. It was so funny that even Michael had rolled on the ground with laughter. This was how Ruby had gotten to like them so much. After that point she journeyed with them to find the other three dragons. Along the way she had fallen in love with the prospective Dragonmaster, and he with her.

The Blue Spire seemed to rise into the heavens with no intention of ending. It was by far the tallest building in all of Lunar. And as its name sake suggested it was blue. A brilliant sapphire that’s beauty outdid even the sky and ocean.

The three companions approached the spire and stood silently before the front gate. “Any ideas on how to open it?” questioned Kevin briefly glancing away to face his friend.

“Ideas?” retorted the Dragonmaster with a smirk, “Who needs ideas when they work directly with god?” With that Michael pulled a red gemstone out of his pocket and walked up to the gate.

Unlike the rest of the tower the front gate was not blue. Instead it had been forged from pure silver and had been enforced with the strongest of magic to keep out any who might try to invade the holy place. The gate itself was enormous, rising several meters off of the ground and having a girth that would let half a dozen large men pass through shoulder by shoulder simultaneously, and spaced in the lower center of the gate a silver dragon’s head had been crafted.

The head protruded out at Michael’s eyelevel. In its left eye socket a vibrant red stone glowed softly; its sister stone glowed with the same gentle light as the Dragonmaster held it in his hand.

“The keystone of the Blue Spire”, Michael explained as he placed the stone into the dragon face’s remaining eye socket. “Ghaleon himself keeps this normally.”

Once the second stone was set in place both began growing brighter until they seemed to be made of molten fire. A thin red line instantly appeared and cut the gate down the middle. With a low rumbling sound the gate slid apart until the two halves of the silver dragon’s head were touched the sapphire sides of the spire’s base.

“Now,” Kevin said his voice quivering slightly from his built up excitement “Now let’s find out who our honored ‘guest’ is.”

“Hold up, friend” Michael cautioned halting him briefly, “We don’t know if our guest is friend or foe. So be on guard.”

Kevin let out a low sigh and shook his head slightly as he returned his friends serious gaze, “Haven’t you known me long enough to recognize my fighting ability? Don’t worry about me, for my lips always have a spell on them.” With a wink the confident mage did an about face and marched through the gates into the Blue Spire. He was the first living being from Lunar to enter since the world’s recreation.

The insides of the tower resembled the outside. The floor, the ceiling and even the walls were all made from the same blue material that the outside had been made of. The rooms were all empty except for the stair case that led from floor to floor.

Though Kevin had entered first it was Michael who led the party through the tower. Sword drawn, he walked cautiously through the seemingly endless floors, followed closely by Ruby and Kevin. After what seemed an eternity of climbing from one monotonous floor to the next they reached the spire’s final floor.

At least they assumed that they had, for this floor had no staircase leading upward and unlike the other floors it had a rather unique feature. In the center of the room there was a plain red circle about six feet in diameter. But what caught the groups’ eyes was not the funny red circle but the person lying inside of it.

Though the figure was lying face down it was almost certainly female. Lunar’s ‘guest’ had long blue hair that seemed bluer than the great spire itself and her frame was smaller than most males, more comparable in size to Ruby than Michael or even Kevin. She wore a militaristic navy-blue uniform with a flowing red cape.

A normal man might have asked if she was dead or not, but the three companions who stood in front of the mystery girl were far from being normal, so they needed not to ask. Kevin voiced the group’s opinion first with a simple comment, “She’s not dead.”

This was a statement not a question. All three of them were experienced in the ways of magic and could feel its presence with ease. The amount of magical energy emitting from the girl was staggering. It was easily stronger than the magic that Kevin possessed and it even felt stronger than the magic that, Ruby, the red dragon herself wielded. In fact the three of them would bet that she had stronger magic than any of the four dragons. The only time any of them had felt magical power that outdid the ‘guest’ was when they were in the presence of Ghaleon.

Kevin was the first to voice their thoughts once again, “I hope she’s friend rather than foe.”

Michael just nodded as he mentally prepared himself for the battle that might take place. With all four of the dragons by his side (three really, for he didn’t suspect that he would ever have Nall join him in battle) he would have felt very confident in their chances of success, but with only one of the four he knew that if it came down to a fight they would be hard pressed to emerge victorious.

Without warning she stirred. Regaining her strength almost instantly she stood and faced the three. She was indeed a woman, and a beautiful one at that. Her cape had padded shoulders that added to the overall military appearance of her uniform. And it was too. To call her attire a uniform was more truthful than to call it simply clothes. Around her neck she wore a circular pendent crafted of a shiny black substance that was bordered by polished gold.

Her eyes looked over the three as they stood dumbfounded by her sudden awakening. They could tell that she was sizing them up and trying to figure out as much about their group as they were about her. When she finally spoke, it was with a calm and even voice that sounded both melodic and confident at the same time. Her first unexpected words were, “Good, a Dragonmaster.”

Michael was more than a little shocked to realize that she could recognize the garb of a Dragonmaster and had known him to be one. He opened his mouth to speak, but the ‘guest’ spoke again before he could think of what to say.

“Take me to Althena,” she commanded at once in her melodic voice.

“Say what?” Kevin stammered confused at her outrageous and impossible request.

“I must see Althena,” she said again at once, “The matter is of the utmost importance.”

“I’m sorry,” Michael began as he tried to figure out who or what this strange girl was, “I cannot take you to Althena, for she has been dead for the last thousand years.”

The strange girl’s face contorted with sudden surprise and confusion, “Please do not jest, Dragonmaster. I can feel her power even from here. What you state is impossible.”

“It is not impossible nor do I jest, my lady,” Michael assured. “What you feel is the power of Lunar’s new god, Ghaleon. One thousand years ago Althena died and handed her power to her successor. That is whom I serve.”

“That is absurd. Explain at once.” She demanded her voice still calm but now edged with confusion.

Michael wondered just how old this girl would have to be if she believed that Althena was still the goddess of Lunar, but seeing no choice in the matter he launched into the story that Ghaleon had told to all of his people, “One thousand years ago a great evil invaded our peaceful world. It was a man of immense magical power known only as the Magic Emperor. He commanded the forces of the entire Vile Tribe, a group of people who had shunned Althena and turned against her in the ages past.

“Ghaleon fought along side of a Dragonmaster named Dyne to protect Althena, but in the end the Magic Emperor’s power was just too great. All of Lunar’s people were wiped out in the cataclysmic battle, and even the great Dragonmaster Dyne was slain before they brought down the Magic Emperor. In the end the goddess Althena was too greatly injured to recover.

“Using the last of her powers she healed Ghaleon’s own grievous wounds and then passed the holy powers down onto him. Tasking him to rebuild Lunar and recreate its people. This is the Lunar that we now live in, my lady. And Ghaleon is the god that I serve.”

As Michael finished his tale the girl’s face grew pale at the grim tidings. “Now I must ask you to explain who you are and what your business is,” the Dragonmaster added.

The girl quickly regained her composure and answered, “My name is Lucia, and I am the Guardian of the Blue Star. If Althena is no more I must see this Ghaleon. I believe that Lunar may be in grave danger. Danger that is equal to this Magic Emperor of which you speak.”

It was now Michael’s turn to pale. He had believed his entire life that the Magic Emperor was the greatest evil that Lunar could have ever faced. Althena after all was the equal to the present day Ghaleon, and even in his human form he was said to have been the most powerful mage that Lunar had ever known. Not to mention the legendary Dragonmaster Dyne of whom songs were still sung about. If a fiend like the Magic Emperor could destroy the world…what kind of monster could be his equivalent?

“Explain,” Michael said even as he felt cold sweat run down his face. He didn’t know why, but he believed Lucia, and what she had just said chilled him to the bone.

“Zophar,” Lucia returned instantly. “Zophar is the demon-god responsible for the destruction of the Blue Star. He could not be destroyed so Althena had no choice but to seal him away, but in doing so she was forced to seal the Blue Star away as well.

“When Althena migrated to Lunar with her remaining people I stayed behind to guard the Blue Star. I was put into a magical slumber and was only to awaken when Zophar’s evil had dissolved and the Blue Star was once again able to host life; however, something has gone terribly wrong.

“I have awoken early and can no longer sense Zophar’s presence on the Blue Star. He is now residing on Lunar. I am certain of it, but I do not know how long he has been here.”

Michael’s throat felt dry. It all made perfect sense. For the past four years the monster population had been steadily growing and the beasts themselves were becoming more aggressive. This was what Ghaleon had been sensing all along. This was the cause of all Lunar’s problems.

“Four years,” Michael uttered more to himself than to Lucia, “Zophar has been here for at least four years, maybe more.”

For the first time in his life the famous vice-premier of Vane, Kevin Oslek, was truly at a loss for words. Never before had he felt such an impending doom. He had battled all sorts of monsters, both by himself and along side his best friend, the Dragonmaster. But never had the stakes been stacked this high. Fighting to save a town or a city from the evil grasps of monsters was one thing, but knowing that if you lost the whole world would come to an end was something else all together.

“Kevin,” Michael spoke, his voice breaking Kevin out of his trance, “can you teleport us out of the Spire?”

The young mage shook his head, “No, the Blue Spire is saturated with magic. A spell as strong as the teleportation of four people would be too difficult to cast in this place, even for me.”

Michael frowned at his friend’s ill news, “Then we run. If we knew that Lucia had come from the Blue Star then so does Zophar. I fear that he’s going to make his move soon.”

Without further explanation the Dragonmaster took off through the door, only to find himself running out the front gate and into the bright midday sun. Confused, he quickly stopped himself and spun around in time to see both of his friends sprint out of the front gate.

The three of them stopped and stared back at the tower sincerely confused. Lucia strode confidently out of the front gate holding her pendent in her hand. “You may not have the power to cast such a spell, sir mage, but I assure you that it is not beyond my ability.”

Kevin’s jaw dropped as he came to understand the full reaches of her power. In all of Lunar not a mage existed that could rival his spell casting powers. Not even the Guild Leader or the Premier had more power than him. They exceeded him in rank only due to their experience but not through raw magical power. Then Kevin’s face came up suddenly in a delighted smile. Not in all of Lunar existed such a mage, but she was not of Lunar!

“Can you teleport us to Ghaleon’s Fortress?” asked Michael hopefully.

“No, the fortress of a god would be guarded with stronger magic than even the Blue Spire,” she replied evenly.

“In that case let’s get a move on,” said Ruby as she began her transformation from human form to dragon form. In less than a minute the Dragonmaster and his two companions were flying on the back of the red dragon towards Ghaleon’s Fortress. Bringing with them dreaded news.

Chapter 4

All That Glitters Is Cold 2 Fanfic Competition

This Page © Copyright 1997, Brian Work. All rights reserved. Thanks to Sax for his help with the layout. Do not take anything from this page without my consent. If you wish to contact an author, artist, reviewer, or any other contributor to the site, their email address can be found on their index page. This site is link-free, meaning you don't need to ask me if you'd like to link to it. Best viewed in 1024x768.