Knight SunSpear pressed a small dagger against the stone sharpening wheel, sending a shower of sparks towards the group of visitors. Quickly, they took a few steps back towards the path on which they arrived. The smoke from a small fire further complicated the situation.
SunSpear studied the edge of the blade and rested it on a small table that sat by the entrance to his small thatched house. “You actually want me to join your group to help fight some stupid people that I don’t even know who are always at war with each other?”
“Well, kind of,” said Mage Bella.
SunSpear looked at Bella and snarled. “No. Piss off.” He quickly grabbed another dagger and started sharpening it.
Florise shrugged. “I told you he wouldn’t help out. We don’t need his help.”
“But the prophecy…” Bella stepped closer to SunSpear, but he aimed the shower of sparks towards her, making her step back again.
“Anyone can write a stupid prophecy. What makes this one special?”
“The writer of this is known to have the gift,” said Mantoson. “Even though she is my enemy, the one-eyed hag is well known for her abilities.”
SunSpear immediately stopped his sharpening wheel and studied him cautiously.
“One-eyed hag? With the yellow and green robes?”
“You know her,” asked Mantoson.
SunSpear studied the group and then breathed a heavy sigh. He reached to the ground and retrieved a mug of hot tea. He took a small sip and stared into the mug. “Not long ago, that hag wandered here to my house. She was starved and incoherent. I tried to give her something to eat.” He looked up at the group. “You know. Because I’m a really hospitable guy.”
Florise rolled her eyes. “Right. That’s obvious.”
“But she refused,” he continued. “She told me a war was coming and then she passed away. There was nothing I could have done. But before she died, she gave me something.” SunSpear stood up and walked into his house. After a few seconds, he came back out holding a small piece of parchment. Everyone’s eyes grew wide as they studied it.
“She said it was the key to the prophecy.”
A look of concern grew on Mantoson’s face. “She’s talks of war. Her whole kingdom talks of war. How can we trust what that message says?”
SunSpear waved the parchment in front of Mantoson’s face. “I have no idea what this says or means. Do you?”
“Well, no,” he stammered. “But I don’t trust anyone from Lilyshire.”
“Have you any idea what this means?” asked Bella.
SunSpear picked up his sharpened dagger and slid it into the sheath on his belt. He then picked up a large emerald sword and affixed it to his side. After arming himself with several more daggers and knives, he turned to Bella and snorted. “Do I look like the kind of guy who likes to solve puzzles?”
“This is useless,” said Florise. “We should have never come here. That key is useless if no one knows what it says.”
“I’m not smart enough to figure this out, but I know of someone in our kingdom who is.” SunSpear looked nervously at the group.
“Why do you look hesitant?” asked Mantoson.
“Because the only person I know that can solve this, is also described in your prophecy. Which means, there’s something to this. I don’t normally believe in prophecies, but I think this one is real.” SunSpear took a big swig of his tea and then headed down the path. He stopped and looked over his shoulder. “Well? Are you guys coming or not?”
As the party headed off into the woods, Belle smiled over at Knight SunSpear. “I’m glad you decided to join us.”
SunSpear scowled back at her. “I think you need all the help you can get. There’s something fishy about all this, and I smell a trap.”
Part 4, Mantoson’s Task