Chapter 28: Hope

You can find all posts about “An Elusive Hero” under “Story” or “An Elusive Hero”.

The only source of light in my cell was one of the spheres of light I had seen in the council room. It floated close to the ceiling, slowly and steady, providing the space with a dim, cold light. The sphere could have shined so much brighter and instead mocked my presence by deliberately not reaching its potential. I rested my head against the heavy, stone wall and closed my eyes. But sleep didn’t come to me.

I thought about the man who had so effortlessly captured my friends and me. Even though I had travelled with Laurenar and Seraphina, his display of power had been unlike anything I had seen before. He had been so extremely sure of himself. And more importantly, he had succeeded in picking up magic. If the Chosen One had come from the same world as I had, how had he managed to become so powerful? With a sigh, I wished I would’ve learned a spell or two by now. But it was no use. The familiar feeling of uselessness and despair crept up in me, but this time I made a conscious effort of fighting them back.

After all, I had actually found the Chosen One. Even though I was his captive in his Fort, I only need to prevent him from doing what he wanted. Of course, I had no idea what his next move would be. And I was stashed away in one of the many fortified cells far beneath his chambers.

The cell was large enough for me to stand and take three steps in it. Except for a mat and a pillow, it was empty. Surprisingly enough, the door hadn’t been carved into the stone. It was crafted out of a dark wood that I didn’t know. I tried to push it open, but that, unsurprisingly, did not work. Judging by the sound it had made for my entrance, it had to be extremely heavy. But it did not muffle the outside noises. Even in the relative darkness of my cell I could hear guards moving around, eating and joking. During the next change of guard however, I heard the words that would guide me out of my valley of desperation.

“How are we doing down here?”

A cheerful and optimistic male voice addressed the guards standing in front of my door. They answered in a friendly, but tired tone. I assumed they had been guarding my door for a few uneventful hours.

“Not much going on. Everything is quiet.”

“Do you know who we are guarding?”

“Not really. But we brought him here from the council room. So it’s someone important.”

My identity had not been common knowledge. I perked up and focused on gathering as much from the conversation as possible. The next few sentences were interrupted by laughing and giggling. I only picked up a few bits of the story, which seemed to involve two ladies and one extremely lucky guard.

“Have a good shift guys, see you tomorrow.”

With these words the changing of guard was over. But the man with the cheerful voice didn’t feel the need to stop talking. Speaking to his colleague, whose voice was flat and emotionless, he began:

“I’m glad I’m not guarding that knight anymore. I’m not sure if the door will keep him much longer. The constant hammering nearly drove me crazy.”

“Well, you could’ve shut him up.”

An insecure laugh followed.

“Yeah right. Like I’m ever going into a cell with the First Knight of Illusio alone.”

In a second, I was on my feet, with my ear pressed firmly against the wooden door. I had to hear every word they were talking about. Laurenar was here. And he was alive. And he was healthy enough to frighten armed guards.

“You’ve got a point. I wonder why nothing has been done about him so far. He’s just left alone in his cell, raising hell and plotting his escape. I doubt his chains will hold him much longer. It seems to be a lot quieter here.”

I started pacing the room. How would I be able to communicate with Laurenar? Had he managed to find a way out of his capture? Or had he failed to accept the severity of his situation? I hoped to hear more gossip from the guards. Where had they taken Drake and Michelle?

I looked around the room and started checking the stone walls for secret gateways. I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t find anything, but I did not give up. The ceiling of the cell of surprisingly high with the sphere of light floating about six meters off the ground.  Longingly, I stared at the sphere, wishing for a just a bit more light. It continued to move around at an excruciatingly slow pace and remained as dim as ever. But I couldn’t take my eyes off the ball. It was roughly the size of a football and seemed like a dark miniature version of the moon. I felt the urge to touch it and feel what made it radiate. I reached out to it, but of course, I came nowhere close to the sphere.

“Come down.” I whispered with a hint of disappointment in my voice. My eyes were still fixed on the light. It continued to float around, close to the ceiling. I sighed and wished again for the sphere to come down, lying down and burying my face in the pillow.

I turned around and looked up at the ceiling on last time. I thought about the light and how comforting it would be to hold it in my hand. The Chosen One had been right, it was much smarter to choose the light instead of lingering in darkness. With a smile, I whispered “I choose you, Light”, thinking of a childhood joy of mine.

And slowly, very slowly, the sphere of light began descending until it was resting in the palms of my hand. I felt startled. I felt surprised. I felt powerful.

___________________________________

This is not only my 28th chapter, but also my 100th post on this blog so far. I want to thank everyone who has read my posts and support me on my way this year! I hope I can deliver even better content next year. So please continue to like and share! And if you haven’t subscribed, please click on follow.

Have a great weekend.

Sincerely yours,

Albert

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