Savior of Aemysa Isle - Part 2/3
Tales of Havek: Volume One - Short Story
The first part can be found here.
Brief summary of the previous post: The man could not face his fear of confronting the guardian on the other side of the bridge and returned to the island to think of a plan. The woman, named Batyg, and her two sons found themselves trapped in their hut after the invaders made landfall. She felt the presence of the Almighty at last and prayed to him in defiance of the beastly threat standing before her.
Savior of Aemysa Isle - Part 2/3
After the man had awoken on the island, he’d heard many voices in his head. Thousands upon thousands of indistinguishable words all clamoring to be the focus of his attention. He’d tried to listen, to accommodate the few strange requests that he’d managed to parse out, but they were impossible tasks. He’d grown angry during those first days, angry at himself and at the insanity of it all. But now he felt alone, most of the voices having disappeared altogether. Only a few faint whispers remained, and their words were too soft to understand.
He kept himself busy, gathering large tree limbs that had fallen from the thick canopy above. He placed them atop a pile next to his stone hut before deciding it was time to rest. He sat on a log by the fire at his camp and stroked his long beard, contemplating his next move. He would need to face the Guardian on the other side of the bridge eventually. But he was no fighter. Even if he was, he didn’t remember his training. Still, he’d have to try, there was no other way off the island. Maybe he did have a chance, however slim–
A voice crowded his mind so loud that it nearly knocked him backward off the log:
O’Savior of Aemysa Isle, Ungdl of Oudun, Almighty Maker of Storms, please answer my prayer. Save my people from the invaders of our sacred lands. Save us from this abomination before us that wishes us harm. Save us, Helyand.
The name Helyand resonated with him, a familiarity so uncanny that it was as if he’d known that was his name all along and had never not known it. He thought he was losing his mind and the voice wasn’t real, but another came, louder this time. Yet, this one sounded different, younger and more masculine.
Almighty, if you can hear me, if you are real, help us. I don’t want my Mama and brother to die. I wish I was big and brave like other men, like my Papa was.
Another voice overlapped the second at some point, however, he could understand both as if they had been spoken at two totally different times. This one was far younger, the voice sweet and hard to distinguish between girl or boy.
I pray that you hear my Mama and protect us from the bad monster. I don’t want him to hurt us. Please, Almighty, hurry.
A woman and two children were in danger. He felt a sudden pang of guilt for not knowing what to do. He was somehow responsible for their lives and yet he did not know them, did not want their voices in his head. But something primal urged him to answer.
“I can hear you. What do you want me to do?” he asked, standing. His voice sounded weird to his own ears as he hadn’t spoken out loud in a day or so. No answer came. Time, if such a thing existed on the island, seemed to stop entirely, all the sounds of mock nature hushed into a low, incessant hum. A sensation overwhelmed him and at first he didn’t know how to engage with it, but subconsciously, almost instinctively, he realized that he needed to close his eyes in order to see.
Upon doing so, another world was revealed to him in grand detail; the vivid interior of a living space of some kind, smoke rising off to the side, an unkempt sleeping area where blankets lay strewn about. However, all of this blurred into his periphery and the reason for his visual transcendence became instantly apparent with the sight before him; the six-armed figure was here, too. The same shape as the Guardian that prevented his escape, but upon seeing the true nature of the beast up close, the ancient name of his enemy slipped into his mind.
“Mundrkang,” he whispered, harsh and breathless.
Suddenly, Helyand collapsed to his knees back on the island, returning to the hazy embrace of immortal fog. He gritted his teeth as memories of the Mundrkang horde filled his mind. Memory of his sacrifice to end their reign of terror. Had his sacrifice been in vain? No. He would not let evil win. He would not let his faithful believers perish.
Thunder rumbled above the island’s canopy so powerful that even the trees shook, their leaves rustling as if caught by a gust of wind. The fog that had once suffocated Helyand slid away from him, pushed out by an invisible force. His mind was devoid of thought, now awakened from the dream-like state he’d succumbed to for the past few days, days which he now realized equaled years in the realm of chaos.
Throwing his head back in a yell that burned his throat, Helyand’s eyes blazed bright with bluish light, and a forgotten power surged through him once more.
The hut’s floor was riddled with the smoldering remains of the beast. Batyg collapsed to her knees, her legs weak and trembling. Myka rested the sword’s tip on the ground as it had become too heavy to hold out in front of him, but smiled at it in reverence.
“He listened,” Batyg whispered, tears streaming down her face. “You listened. You still protect us even in death.”
A bolt of lightning had all too precisely struck the beast, piercing the roof of the hut and frying him without so much as a spark in the direction of Batyg and her sons. The thunder clap had rattled their chests, the brilliant light having forced their eyes shut. Batyg was thankful that her children had been spared those graphic details, the aftermath was enough for her to feel sick to her stomach.
“I prayed, Mama,” Ozryk said beside her, lifting his stone to show her what he’d meant. “I felt him here with us. Like he was right beside us.”
Myka cleared his throat. “I did, too. But it felt like Papa. Is that possible? Was it Papa?”
Batyg wiped the tears from her eyes. “Your father was a great man who died to protect the Isles. But that was not your father,” she lied. She couldn’t tell them the whole truth yet. “That was the Almighty, and he presides over us in the heavens.”
“Does that mean we are saved?” Ozryk asked. Batyg didn’t answer him, but instead ran the backs of her fingers down an unmarred section of his soft cheek. The fear seed’s effects were still strong, but Batyg felt more hopeful than ever that her fears would not come true.
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