A Different World Chapter 8

The climb up the Star Dragon Tower was longer than Michael had imagined. He had hoped Lucia might be able to teleport them to the top or at least part way up, but she said the magic surrounding the tower was far too strong, making teleportation an impossibility. Even Ghaleon himself would have to walk if he desired an audience with the Star Dragon.

As it was Ghaleon didn’t walk, he was carried. Michael was thankful that dragons possessed inhuman strength. If two humans were carrying Ghaleon they would have tired long before reaching the top. Still everyone took a rest when they reached the halfway point. The Hall of Heroes.

The room itself was much larger than the other rooms. It was magically enhanced to be over five times larger than the other floors. Michael was quite sure it was magic that gave the room its size, otherwise a large bulge could have been seen from the outside of the tower. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of life size statues filled the room. Each statue was carved from solid silver, polished so highly they seemed to glow. Some depicted large brawny knights, others showed men and woman dressed in the robes of wizards or priests. A few statues were of average looking people, neither warrior nor wizard. The statues were lined up in dozens of rows, with each row containing easily over a hundred statues.

“This is the Hall of Heroes,” Nall said, “In here are monuments for every great man or woman in Lunar. Some even date back to the Blue Star. All crafted by the Star Dragon himself.”

“Its amazing,” Ruby said. Her voice was almost a whisper. It seemed almost a crime to speak to loudly in here. Even for people accustomed to living around a god this placed felt holy.

“Yes, this place is truly amazing. I’m glad the Star Dragon decided to show it off today.”

“What do you mean?” Ryan asked.

“This floor doesn’t appear every time you enter. It just depends if the Star Dragon feels like displaying his work or not.”

They nodded in understanding and began to look around. Time was still an issue so they didn’t stop all together, but they moved slower than their normal pace, enjoying the sites of the room. Even Lucia seemed to be fascinated by the multitude of heroic shrines.

“Hey, look Michael. It’s Ghaleon,” Kevin said coming to a stop.

“You’re right,” Michael said. The statue was indeed of Lunar’s deity. He stood tall and majestically dressed in the robes of the Magic Guild Premier. To his left was a large beast man with a giant axe slung over his shoulder, and to Ghaleon’s right was a woman wearing the robes of Magic Guild Leader. Mel de Alkirk and Lemia Ausa.

“Yes, Ghaleon made his way into the Hall. He was one of the four heroes after all, but personally I like the other two better, though Hell Mel was a pretty scary guy,” Nall told them.

Michael sent an irritated look at Nall for the jab at Ghaleon, but let it slide in the spirit of newly formed comradeship. Instead of arguing the point he said, “Dyne’s not here. He was one of the four heroes.”

“That’s because Dyne’s statue is in the Dragonmaster Shrine up ahead,” Nall said.

They came to the Dragonmaster Shrine a moment later. It stood in the exact center of the room and was impossible to miss. Four superbly crafted statues of the dragons set the backdrop, and the Dragonmaster statues were lined up in front of the dragons. At first all eyes were on the dragon statues. Unlike the other statues that were silver, the dragons each were carved from a stone of their color. The red dragon was made from rubies, the blue dragon from sapphire, the black dragon onyx, and the white dragon from diamonds.

After the they pried their gazes away from the dragon statues Michael was instantly overwhelmed by the shear number of Dragonmaster statues. The row held roughly twenty life size Dragonmaster statues. “Nall, there’s gotta be a mistake,” Michael said confused, “I know there were never this many Dragonmasters in the history of Lunar.”

It wasn’t Nall who answered, but Lucia. “Many of these Dragonmaster’s were never on Lunar. They were on the Blue Star.”

“That’s right,” Nall affirmed, “Most of these were foreign to me the first time I saw them. I doubt even Ghaleon is aware of them.”

Michael nodded in understanding as the group began admiring the statues. These statues were silver like the others, but the eyes were crafted from shining green emeralds, until it came to the statues of the New Lunar Dragonmasters. All the statues past Dragonmaster Todd had eyes carved from black stones.

The first dozen were unknown to him, but the next five he knew by heart. They were the Dragonmasters of Old Lunar. Starting with Gale and ending with Dyne, at the very end was the statue of himself, but he hardly noticed it. His eyes were fixed on the statue standing between Dyne and Todd.

“Wow,” Ruby murmured, “This statue looks exactly like you. It even has your eyes. They look like they were made out of onyx or something instead of emerald.”

“Ruby, look at this,” Michael said, seeming not to even hear her.

She came over and stared at the statue with an apparent loss for words. “Who is this?”

The statue was of a man Michael had never heard of. Actually it was more of a boy than a man. Judging by the statue the unknown Dragonmaster looked about seventeen or eighteen years old. In unison Michael and Ruby dropped their gaze to the statues base and read allowed, “Dragonmaster Alex of Burg.”

Michael blanched. Nall had been telling the truth! The last Dragonmaster of Old Lunar had been Alex, and that meant Ghaleon had been lying to them. But why?

“Nall,” Michael said, “I need an explanation.”

Nall shook his head, “Not from me. If I told you the truth you’d just reject it.”

“That’s not true, Nall,” Michael said.

“It doesn’t matter anyway. Right now we just need to concentrate on the present. The past can wait to be dealt with,” Nall said.

Michael stared at Alex’s statue for a while longer. Trying to get some feel as of why Ghaleon must have hated him so. From his looks the young man seemed kind and brave. The textbook example of a Dragonmaster. Nall was right however, the past could wait to be dealt with later.

Reluctantly the group left the splendors of the Hall of Heroes and resumed their march to the tower’s top. They half expected other marvelous rooms to jump out at them, but the rest of their trek was uninterrupted. After an eternity of climbing Nall came to a stop as he reached another stair case. “We’re here. Up this last set of stairs is the Star Dragon’s chamber.”

Chapter 9

All That Glitters Is Cold 2 Fanfic Competition

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