Genesis Scrolls Round 3: {The Book of Enlightenment Chapter 6: The Spirit of Protection}

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Lunnon was in danger?

Artemus paced back and forth. He was ready to run towards the monster and rescue Felicity, but he wasn’t going to leap into action haphazardly, as he usually would.

His ears rang and his vision narrowed. Overwhelmed by the magnitude of stress, Artemus put his head in his hands. He glanced over at Mordecai through bloodshot eyes. The old man sat there stoically. Artemus approached him and pointed the blade at his throat.

“Explain yourself! How could you possibly know that?” Artemus was in a murderous rage. Vitriolic thoughts crept into his mind. He couldn’t bare to imagine the innocent lives that would fall victim to Felicity’s captor.

Mordecai stared at the blade for a moment. He closed his eyes and took a long, deep breath before releasing it with an exaggerated sigh.

“You seem upset,” he spoke in a calm tone.

Artemus came to his senses, realizing he had lost his composure. He lowered his weapon and took several steps back. “I’m sorry–"

“Don’t be!” Mordecai interrupted with a laugh. "To be alive is to experience emotions. Isn’t it wonderful!?”

Mordecai’s nonchalant attitude irritated Artemus. “Listen, I need to understand what is going on here. That monster murdered my friends. Now he’s kidnapped a little girl and is headed to my village. We need to stop it. Please, Mordecai.”

“Yes, I suppose you do deserve to know,” he pondered a thought for a moment. “Have you ever talked with a tree?”

“What are you even saying? We don’t have time for –”

“Well, I suppose it’s more so like listening. Every blade of grass or grain of sand has a story to tell if you have the patience to listen. Living beings tend to leave an imprint everywhere they go. Our emotions, our thoughts, our memories - they carry an energetic weight. The clothes we wear, weapons we wield, and even the ground we walk on can store that energy and, in a sense, is imbued with its spirit.”

“And what does any of this have to do with our situation?” Artemus leaned into the old man’s every word. Mordecai had the same charisma and infectious conviction as his father did when he taught him how to hunt as a young boy.

“It has everything to do with it,” Mordecai responded guilelessly. “I can feel that man’s energy. I can hear his intentions. And that weapon -” Mordecai shivered.

“What about it?”

“That blade is not an ordinary blade. It feeds on the souls of its victims, and its appetite has been whetted.”

“It feeds on souls?” Artemus asked in bewilderment.

“Yes, it’s just as it sounds. You can distinguish its victims from their eyes. Or lack thereof.”

Artemus thinks back to the men of the Village Guard.

“The eyes are quite literally a window to one’s soul. Grim Grasp rips the victim’s soul out of their skull, leaving scorched skin and hollowed bores where the eyes used to be.”

“How am I supposed to fight something like that? I couldn’t even damage it.”
“That I do not know. I’ve lived a long time and never seen anything like it. But it appears our little Felicity knows him.”

“How is that even possible? Aren’t you two from the same place?”

Mordecai laughed, “Of course not. We only just met a couple of days ago.”

Artemus raised his eyebrows, and his jaw dropped at this revelation. “Then what were you two doing in the forest in the middle of the night? How did you even get here?”

Mordecai hesitated for a moment. “Do you believe in magic, master Artemus?”

“Admittedly, I don’t know what I believe anymore.”

“I was being held captive just off the coast from here. Not sure how long I was there. I lost track of time after a while. In all honesty, I didn’t really care. I had been captive in my own body long before that. A few days ago I started hearing rumblings from the guards about a new captive – a very special girl from a city in the sky.”

“I’ve never heard of a city in the sky.”

“Well it exists, and if you stop interrupting me I can tell you the rest of the story” Mordecai looked at Artemus with scolding eyes. “Anyways this girl, as you may have deduced, was Felicity. I was impressed by how sharp she was for her age. But beyond that, I felt an immense well of power from within her. While she may look like you or me, her bloodline is of a peculiar kind. Her father was a druid and her mother an oracle. Such a child hasn’t been born for 1,000 years.”

Artemus’ eyes glossed over. “Mordecai, I don’t know what any of that means. Did she tell you all of this?”

“Yes, it’s quite fascinating actually. She and I first spoke within a dream. But my first conversation with Felicity wasn’t with the young girl you met. She was much older. A beautiful young woman in white robes and –” Mordecai’s words trailed off as his mind wandered back to the woman in his dream.

Could that really have been Felicity?

“How could she possibly speak to you in a dream?” Artemus interrupted.

Mordecai noticed he was visibly shaken by the news. He continued gently, “She can’t control it. She wandered into my thought projection while I was meditating. She was lost within a deep mist and I helped her find her way out. It must be that she can project herself into the minds of others who can help her on her journey.” He glanced over at Artemus who was deep in thought.
“But it took me decades to learn and hone my abilities in my astral body. She did it accidentally! My oh my this new generation excites me.”

“We need to find her, Mordecai. I don’t care what it takes but we need to save her from that – thing.” Artemus looked down at the hunter’s knife his father gave him and whispered to himself, “What would you do here, father?”

Mordecai grinned, “I think you’ve been holding the key to defeating this monster the entire time master Artemus.”

Artemus looked up at Mordecai. Mordecai’s grimoire began to glow a blue light and floated in the sky opening up to a blank page. The old man’s eyes began glowing blue as well.

“LIGHTNING BANE,” Mordecai shouted in a booming voice. A burst of electrical charge flew out of the grimoire towards Artemus. Instinctively, he raised his blade to block his face. The lightning split in every direction, igniting the foliage around him. Artemus remained unharmed.

“That’s not an ordinary hunting knife, master Artemus. It is a short sword imbued with a spirit of protection and it intends that no harm ever befall you,” Mordecai shouted over the crackling of burning trees.

“Whoever gave you that sword must care about you a great deal.”

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