The first fourteen chapters of An Elusive Hero can be found here.
We stood there in amazement. The transformation of the wizard had been impressive and troubling at once. The round wizard paced the room steadily, with a smirk on his face signalling his amusement at the situation. Seraphina and Laurenar looked at me. I felt paralyzed and unsure of what to do. Our journey had taken us this far, but standing in front of the person capable of answering our questions, I was baffled. It seemed like minutes were passing and we remained silent. The owner of the Lighthouse remained remarkably patient, just making the same, monotone movement. His footsteps were the only sounds disturbing the silence of the rooftop room. I stepped towards to Seraphina and Laurenar.
My thoughts wandered back to the meeting with Queen Sophia, which seemed so far away. She had told us that some of our questions would be answered here. Sophia had said that they had brought me here to deal with the enemy who had arrived in Illusio from my world for a second time. So what exactly did we need to find out? She probably wanted him to stay out of this world altogether. But the queen also didn’t know what exactly would beat him.
I try to project an air of confidence, when I finally addressed the wizard.
“Are you aware of the situation of the world?”
He stopped his steppes and turned his body fully towards us. His smirk turned into a toothy grin. “The situation of the world? That depends, my young friend. Do you mean the state of the rocks and continents? Or do you mean the well-being of the townsfolk? Or do you mean the politics of power? Which situation should I be aware of? But whatever it is, I can assure you I know more than enough about it.”
I felt my face turn red as if I had said something particularly stupid in class. Laurenar’s eyes narrowed as if the answer had given him a reason to be more suscipicious than normal. Seraphina seemed slightly taken aback by the arrogance of the mage or oracle.
“Well, the kingdom is threatened by an enemy. We need to know how to stop him?”
“Ah, so it is the politics of power you are concerned with? Tell me, why do you intend to stop him?”
This question seemed to enrage Laurenar, but before he could answer, Seraphina’s soft voice took over: “Our queen has proven to be a wise and just ruler for the country, while our common enemy has brought nothing but war to our shores. We believe it to be in our best interest to stop him.”
“I see. Then why don’t you face him on the battlefield? Your mate here seems to be ready for battle anytime. Surely an army full of knights should be able to crush the rebellion.”
I took over from the sorceress again: “I was brought here from a far way world to prevent unnecessary bloodshed. Do you know another option besides open warfare? An option that would not endanger the lives of the townsfolk?
“Well yes, you could lead a high-risk operation into the opposition camp and capture just him to send him back. You could pay off his highest-ranking officers. Or his whole army. You could lay siege to his operation and starve them out. Or you could just give him what he wanted.”
“That is not an option.” Laurenar injected angrily. I could tell he was fuming at the disrespect shown towards the queen and Illusio.
“If we send him back, won’t he just reenter again?”
“Probably, yes.” The wizard was enjoying himself at our expense. Laurenar wasn’t ready to take more of this. The answers we had gotten so far were not helpful at all. I decided to tell him exactly that:
“We came here seeking answers, but yours have been unsatisfactory.”
“If the answers are not good, maybe the questions have been lacking.” He winked at to and began to pace the room from anew.
Stunned by this last answer, I stared at the floor, determined to find the right question for him to answer. What exactly did I expect to achieve on this journey? Queen Sophia said we had to save this world. Not just her kingdom, but the whole world, which was so far away from my little home and the college I aspired to enrol in.
“Will the enemy ruin this world given the chance?” I asked, hoping clearer questions would give me the insight I needed.
“In your opinion, should we stop him?”
“Then why aren’t you helping?”
“You have proven to be a person to make sound decision by choosing the Path of the Wise. Had you chosen the right one, you would have found your answer to be war. Had you chosen the left one, you would have found your answer to be peace at the expense of the world. But you chose the third path, the path almost never taken. But the road didn’t just end when you reached the Lighthouse. You have to continue to take wise decisions if you want to save this world without endangering thousands of lives. I can only answer your questions. I am bound to this room and only get to play with the statue when I get visitors. So, ask the questions you really want to know and then move on with your task.”
“Why was I chosen to come to this world?”
“Because you showed the most potential.”
“And how I can stop the enemy from reaching his goal?”
“By showing him the error of his ways. And by proving yourself to him and the world.”
“Those are vague answers once more.”
“That is because not even I can tell you the exact nature of the challenges you face.”
“So, what is next?”
“Before I answer that question. What have you learned from me today?”
I stared at the wizard, who was smiling at me like a teacher in grade school and so hopeful I would give him the right answer.
“There are no simple answers to this conflict. War and Peace are not the solutions. I need to confront him directly. But what exactly challenges lie ahead are unclear, but it is clear I will need to prove myself.”
“Very good. As long as you follow the Path of the Wise, you will succeed. Your next journey will be down to the beach. There you will find somebody you have met already and who will be happy to see you again. From there, the hunt begins.”
And just like that, the oracle vanished.
Chapter 15 is finally completed! I hope you enjoy it. I’m grateful for any kind of feedback! Please like, share and subscribe, if you like my writing.
Have a great weekend.