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Something caused a rather large splash in the street just to my left side around the building corner out in the main street. Snaping my attention back to watching over this world, I became alert, ready to pounce.
I very carefully drew my sword from its sheath. It made a slight clink against the tip of my blade. I waited for a moment in the silence before dashing into the street to meet my fate. This was more my style of a night watch now! Adrenaline pumping I commanded my legs to carry me forward and I soaked in the air rushing past me for those few seconds of wondering what would be around the corner from me.
As I rounded the corner to clearly see my potential foe, I found nothing there at all. The absence of someone or something should have bothered me, but I had gotten to used to Andrew’s power of invisibility that this occurrence didn’t feel so unusual to me as it probably should have. Andrew had startled me many times with his Shyellian gift, yet, this place was different, and there was no magical crystal to activate the special genetic code that is present in those of Shyellian decent.
“Andrew?” I called out, but as the word left my lips, I knew it was a mistake. Possibly even a fatal one.
I listened again, trying my best to find the source of sound that would indicate movement, but, it was to no avail. There was nothing there. The street was empty, the only sound to be heard was the rain still steadily falling on the cobblestones. I wished that someone was with me here now because at least their presence could warm me up from the unrelenting rain. I stood there with no one else around for a long moment, completely cut off from the Knights, and totally alone in a world that wasn’t even mine.
I wondered why I had been so drawn to rejoin the Knights. All I felt here was regret, and the sting of dreams that had fallen through. I knew I was meant for something more, but whether it was on or off-world I also feared that I would never know. I had seen so much in the past five years, yet, nothing had changed me more than my time as a Univercail Knight. Nothing had shaped me more than being entrusted by Uziel, the king of the Ice Kingdom with leadership in his kingdom. He was more than a creature to me, Uziel is my friend, my verry best friend in the form of a dragon. I could only wish he was here with me now because I needed his guidance. His wisdom could calm any fear I had ever experienced in duty.
Coming back to myself again, I realized that my hand was shaking as my sword trembled in my grip. After five years, I still had my moments of panic. While the panic seemed to come when it was more reasonable, it still affected me. I don’t think that anyone can really ever grow out of having anxiety, even if they wanted too. It doesn’t become less bothersome as you get older, nor with the passage of time.
I heard the footsteps behind me this time. I whirled around to face them, steading my shaking body with a deep inhale of humid air. The rain here had a strange smell to it, a touch of sulfur, a rotten kind of smell that could only mean one thing. There was a large amount of volcanic activity near here. Possibly a highly geothermally active planate in general.
“Who are you?” I asked, hoping for a good impression, yet still unwilling to sheeth my weapon.
“You are not of this world, human.” replied a raspy male voice.
“How do you know that?” I asked a bit startled, still unable to see the owner of the odd voice.
“Your clothes give you away. Your a Knight, a guardian, aren’t you?”
“I am,” I replied cautiously. “I’m here to help you.”
“How can you help those that you have yet to understand? We don’t need help from the Knights. Leave us to our home, we will leave you to yours.”
“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to offend,” I answered. “There were reports of unwanted drageel guards on this world.”
“You have no place here. Nor do they, and we are prepared to deal with them. You should go, my people will not treat your presence with grace. ” The man said stepping away from the shadows until I could see his scally face.
“What are you?” I asked curiously.
“I am a native here, I’m a Nahadian.”
“Why are you not afraid of me?” I asked, taking a step closer.
The Nahadian man took a step back. “I am warning you for your own good, I have respect for the knights, unlike the governers of my people.”
“So you read the texts about our formation and mission?” I asked, probing carefully for some information on the Nahadian culture.
“Yes, but it wasn’t easy to get them. Such texts are banned on Naha.” He replied in a low growling whisper as he reached into what I could now see was a cloke that kept the rain away from him.
He pulled out a printed book, a copy of the Universal Knight recruitment and mission statement. It was just a pocket-sized hardbound booklet, but it contained information about our influence on the Universe. I stared down at the booklet in his purple-tinted hand. I wondered why this Nahadian man would carry the book if it was contraband on Naha, but I also wondered why it was contraband in the first place.
“How did you get the beautiful purple pigmentation in your skin?” I asked the man as he carefully concealed the booklet in his cloke again.
“Our blue sun causes purple pigment to become more prominent. Though it is darker depending on genetics too. Some of our people do not believe that purple pigmentation is desirable as you do. The light-skinned like me often have lesser powers here. The light-skinned people come from a line of albino humanoid invaders that mingled with the natives. We are not considered to be pure Nahadians.” He explained.
“So are you wanting to leave Naha?” I asked, trying to find someone that would help me determine the man’s intentions here.
“Naha is my home, why would I leave everything I know here?” He growled with frustration at my question to him as he shot back his own question for me.
I stood silent for a moment, waiting for him to expend the flaming anger in his dark seemingly hollow eyes. He watched me in return, searching me thoughtfully with his gaze. I felt every muscle tightening under the pressure of nervous energy. My armor began to feel much heavier against me. Yet, feeling the onset of panic, I tried to visualize the weight being lifted from me. When my visualization failed, I shifted my stance and gathered my oozing thoughts.
“You’re people have outcasted you. There is more to the universe than oppression. I can give you peace off-world.” I finally spoke, breaking the awkward tension between us.
“You want to take away my home! To think I was the one who called the knights here, it was foolish.” The man growled as he turned away from me.
I was alone once again, cold, wet, but most of all, feeling I had let down my fallow knights in this mission on Naha.
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