The Eye of Phoenix (Fantasy Adventure Novel)-4
THE NIGHTMARE BEGINS
A month swung by, a great boat carrying the princess of Aion docked at the Eastern Shore. Just as Angoles had informed, without much of trouble, Ken spotted the young man out of a massive crowd. His eyes were dark and restless. Ever he looked this way and that, took interest in everything about him. Next to him ambled a beautiful young lady, the princess’s close companion, Ordela Green. The two of them talked and laughed openly. Her face lit up every time he gazed into her eyes.
Ken watched in dread as King Hillden greeted the party and welcomed them into the gate of Elstillis. A helpless feeling sank in.
“That’s him,” he cogitated dispiritedly, “the man who brings catastrophe to this land. Alas, he’s here.”
A welcoming feast was set up in the Royal Garden. Ken intentionally arranged his seat across the table from the inauspicious guest.
“I didn’t quite catch your name mister…” Ken trained his eyes on the man’s face.
“It’s Darven, Darven Complee,” the man bowed his head politely.
“I heard about your unfortunate accident. How did you end up in the river, if you don’t mind I ask?” Ken pressed further.
“Not at all, sir, only…I’m afraid there isn’t much I can tell you about.”
“Mr. Complee lost his memory,” Lady Green, who had been sitting quietly next to him, chipped in. “He has a trouble remembering anything prior to the incident, not even his own name. We assume the name carved on the wristband he wore designates his identity.”
“May I have a close look at it?” Ken perked his brow. Eyes fixated on the object around the fellow’s wrist. “I have traveled to many places before. A possibility I might recognize the piece.”
The man hesitated briefly, and then, with an effort, loosened the item from his wrist, presented it to Ken.
“This band is made of platinum,” Ken examined the item carefully. “The highest quality I have ever seen. The material is rare around this region,” his forefinger stroke the uniquely engraved surface, “the design of a long Fanmus Leaf…the symbol of the West Ford Kingdom, looks like you hold a very important position in that realm, Captain Complee.”
“Captain…I’d rather you spare me of the title, Mr. Brightman, since I have had no recollection of earning it, and my hand can’t remember ever grasping a sword,” the man smiled awkwardly.
Ken’s thumb smoothed over the engraved name. Suddenly, he tossed the wristband across the table. The young man caught it in the mid-air, looking a bit stunned.
“Pray excuse my rashness,” Ken said. “Your flexibility is quite remarkable. Your mind might have forgotten, but your body certainly remembers your strength well.” Ken noticed a deep mark on Complee’s wrist—he had been wearing the band for a long time, and that hand, that grip—no mistaken, he possessed the talent of an extraordinary sword master.
“The son of a prominent explorer, indeed, you have a great knowledge of this world,” commented the man with caution.
“I have eyes and ears that bring me tidings from near and far. Does it grieve you to know that the Capital City of Sardin has been destroyed by fire, and the West Ford Kingdom falls into the hands of the Veidaness?” Ken threw out a blunt statement.
The man frowned. A hint of astonishment flew across his face. Quickly, he regained his poise. “It would be sad for those without a home to return to. How fortunate, my place is here, with the one I love,” he gazed adoringly at Lady Green’s face. She blushed as their eyes locked.
Somehow the man’s last words sounded more like a Doomsday’s Toll to Ken. He barely touched the food, meanwhile, downed the wine one glass after another.
The next morning, Ken woke up with an awful headache. He had hoped that all was just a terrible dream until he spotted Complee wandering about the Royal Garden alongside of Lady Green. The King, in the interim, was busy preparing his upcoming nuptial. He spent most of his time with his future Queen. Ken hardly got a chance to see him, let alone speak to him.
On September 9th,the King’s grand wedding took place according to the plan. Darven Complee provided the most amusing entertainment that the citizens of the land had ever seen: as twilight set upon the world, the night sky was filled with splendid fireworks. It was Complee’s wedding present to the King. He had been preparing the show for weeks, and it went smoothly without a hitch. People laughed, cheered, and danced joyously under the starlight. As midnight approached, King Hillden and his Queen marched across the royal court. A massive crowd followed them to the gate of the Sacred Castle. Guards clad in silver mail saluted to their Lord and yielded the entrance way. The King and Queen strode inside. A moment later, a bright light escaped the high tower and shot up the air.
“What is that?” Ken heard Complee’s astounded voice asking.
“That’s the Eye of Phoenix, the crown jewel of the land. It’s granting the King and Queen a holy blessing,” Ordela replied in a whisper.
Months following the wedding, not much went on, except for the Horse Incident. Hamlay, King Hillden’s most priced stallion, suffered a bad fall while jumping over a tall fence. Both of its front legs were broken.
“It’s incurable my Lord. To end its misery, we ought to put the poor thing to death,” Complee suggested after he examined the helpless animal.
“We still have one last hope—the Eye of Phoenix,” uttered the King. “Come with me. Your expertise may help calm the horse.”
The guards carefully transported Hamlay into a cart, and wheeled it to the Sacred Castle with sturdy pacing. As they reached the front gate, six well-built men carried the injured stallion inside the Castle. Complee ambled alongside of the King with curious delight. They entered a huge empty hall. In the middle of the spacious chamber stood an altar in gold, raising five feet above the floor, on the flat top mounted a crystal holder, a large red diamond set upon it. The stone glowed quietly, sending warmth to every direction. The King bowed to the precious jewel with his hands folded before his breasts. The guards knelt, dared not look up. Complee lifted his eyes, and stole a glance at the treasure.
“Please cast your grace and spare this life from torment and misery. It is my sincere wish,” the King chanted and bowed again. He then stepped forward, remove the stone from its crystal setting, cupped it in his hands. At once, the red glow about the diamond turned to pale. The King held it above the horse. A golden light passed from the stone to the body of the injured animal. Seconds later, the horse neighed, struggled to stand. After a couple of attempts, it finally rose to its feet. Complee stared at the amazing sight, his jaw dropped.
“If I haven’t seen it with my own eyes, I would never have believed it—with a touch of light, a dying stallion completely cured. It’s no ordinary gem, but a source of life,” he thought ravenously. “This is the answer to my prayer. By all means, it shall be mine.”
Seven months after King Hillden’s nuptial, another wedding took place in the Royal Garden. Queen Adlan’s confidant, Ordela Green became the wife of Darven Complee—a wicked drifter as Ken denoted in private. The man was by far the most capable smooth talker and crowd pleaser Ken had ever seen. He was clever enough to turn a cheap display of firework exhibition into a splendid show and won cheers and applause all around. The spectacle always went spontaneously like this: as darkness fell, tongues of fire thrived skyward, sparks flew, lighting the night, white smoke soared into the air, tailing after the fleeing wind.
To express gratitude, wines and pastries of extraordinary quality were sent to his house weekly. People greeted him on streets with warmth and admiration. They even started to call him the Magic Man, a title that used to belong to Ken.
On the heel of the King’s first wedding anniversary, Queen Adlan gave birth to a prince. The development puzzled Ken, “Something is off here. The Evelin said the heir should be a princess, and the timing is several years early than he had projected. Could he be wrong about the entire matter? Feasibly Complee is not as dangerous as he initially perceived, and the speculation about the coming winter...” Ken brooded with an unquiet heart. “If I go to the King now with the outrageous theory, he’d probably throw me out of the palace like I’m some kind of nutcase. Wait I must,” he exhorted himself to be patient, in the meantime, kept a watchful eye on the man and his surroundings.
At six months, Prince Haley was able to talk. His vocabulary increased dramatically as he started walking on his own at eight months, and he could recite poetry to a crowd of imperial family and its royal subjects on his first birthday celebration.
“One day, he’s going to be a great liege,” thought King Hillden proudly.
The following morning, the young prince suddenly disappeared from his crib. Servants and guards searched all over the palace futilely. At last, it was Complee, who found him face down floating in a great fountain near the royal garden. With no time to spare, he rushed the unconscious prince to the Sacred Castle, where the Eye of Phoenix was safely kept. He held the stone to the child’s chest, and watched in bewilderment as color gradually returned to the baby’s pale face. That moment, Complee felt a surge of an incredible power flew through his veins, an unparalleled happiness that he had never experienced before.
That afternoon, the prince resumed his old self, running about the Royal Garden happily. However, Ken pointed out to King Hillden that in spite of Complee’s good intention, intruding the Sacred Castle and handling the crown jewel without the permission of the King carries a penalty of death.
“My child is alive, thanks to his quick thinking,” the King countered. “I can’t and should not repay kindness with vengeance.”
He would not hear more of it, and was so grateful that his precious son was spared of the certain doom, he pardoned Complee’s offense and awarded him with rich land, rare gems, a plenty of gold, also a title of the Third Knight along with the matching sword. Soon, Complee superseded Ken, and became the most trusted advisor of King Hillden.
Ordela was proud of her husband’s crowning achievement. The only downside of the matter was his extended absence. They hardly saw each other during the day, and deep into the night, long after she retired to bed, Complee would lock himself in the laboratory, a secluded cabin near the wooded area outside the palace. No visitors were allowed inside. All the windows were shut tight. Not even starlight could pass through the thick curtains.
“I am preparing a special present for the King,” he told his young wife every time she voiced her discontent. “It takes a careful planning and utmost secrecy. Any interruption might ruin the entire project. I’m sorry for neglecting you lately. I promise to make it up to you when it’s over.”
“What kind of mighty gift is he constructing?” Ordela wondered as she continued biding her husband night after night.
Three months crawled by. As she thought the wait would never end, Complee returned home unexpectedly in the mid-morning after working throughout the night. He looked weary, but extremely exultant. Ordela noticed unusual amount of dust on his outer garment and boots.
“Is it finished, the present for the King?” she delved while drew a hot bath for her husband.
“I’m thinking of taking a lengthy vacation,” he said instead. “Long I have worked. My bones are getting stiff. Will you come with me? There is a big world out there and much to see.”
“Do you wish to go back, seek out your homeland and your people?” she sensed the yearning in his voice.
“My homeland no longer exists, and I can’t recall the faces of my people. You are my family,” he kissed her lips. “My home is where you are.”
“I cannot leave Queen Adlan,” she caressed her husband’s cheek fondly. “If I must choose, my place is here, in the realm of ShangeLilar. Besides, the King needs you.”
“Sometimes, I have this ridiculous perception that you love your Queen more than your husband,” he uttered half-jokingly.
That night, they enjoyed a delicious dinner under a soft candlelight. Complee proposed to her once again about going away together. She brushed it off, didn’t take his proposition seriously.
The day after, Ordela woke up to the sound of howling wind. The sun was high and bright, yet no warmth could be felt in the path of the golden sunbeams, as to Complee, her husband, he was nowhere in sight…
The Eye of Phoenix---The Thousand Year Promise （Part I)
About The Story:
An ancient prophecy foresees the fate of the bloodline of Lord Dearborn;
An unfulfilled oath breaks the bond between two enchanting lovers;
A Thousand Year Promise unlocks the gate to the world of paradise;
The curse that casts upon an imprisoned soul shall welcome the challenge of a fearless warrior.
The Eye of Phoenix
- The Eye of Phoenix (Fantasy Adventure Novel)-1
An ancient prophecy foresees the fate of the bloodline of Lord Dearborn---this is the beginning of a fantasy adventure tale which is not included in the published novel...
- The Eye of Phoenix (Fantasy Adventure Novel)-2
A Thousand Year Promise unlocks the gate to the world of paradise---Additional materials that are not included in the published novel...
- The Eye of Phoenix (Fantasy Adventure Novel)-3
It all began with an unfulfilled promise. Two enchanting lovers were forever separated by a cruel fate, and a curse was cast upon the lost soul...