At the bottom of the boat the air was somewhat tense. But on the surface it was a party atmosphere. Samir hand found a few barrels of ale and shared the drink with Adelram. Adelram had his first drink and a few hundred more. The two became close and shared most of the trip together. Adelram, still upset with Lewa's decision to involve Asante was something that kept him distant from them both. On the deck Samir and Adelram shared stories. Adelram talked about the one time he fought naked in one of the smaller cities in the mainland called, Sovia when the girl he was with, father returned home early. Samir shared stories along the same circumstances such as the time he was with Mrs. Popo. Adelram was also loose with the reasoning behind he and Lewa coming to Faress Island and all his travels. He shared that he was orphaned when his father was killed by what is known as an Empure General.
“What is an Empure?”, Samir asked.
“Do you believe in magik Samir?”, Adelram asked. Samir strung his shoulders , no.
“Of course you don't, simple man..?”, Adelram said. “Empures are people who deal in evil magik or use it for evil.”, he explained. “There is a entire hierarchy that use this magik to keep themselves in power for generations.
“Wow, my mind can't think of problems that big”, Samir replied. “Where is the man that killed your father?”, he asked.
One night Adelram told Samir to change course, “Where did Lewa tell you we were going?”, he asked.
“Some place called, Harren she said. Why?”, he asked.
“Well change of plans, we are going to Radan, its closer it shouldn’t take long to get there.”, he tells him.
“Why the sudden change?”, he asked.
“He's in Radan”, he said.
Samir took a swig and asked, “So you are going to kill him?”
“Yes.”, Adelram said with a sharp tonged.
“Revenge is a fools game.”, Samir said. “At least that’s what I said to Mr. Popo”. He joked. But Adelram's face was serious and his body tense. It was as if the man was right there in front of him.
“Listen, Asante is a soft boy…”, Samir said.
“I agree.”, Adelram replied.
“I'm sure Reneé told you two to protect him as well.”, Samir said.
“Yeah.”, Adelram said as he took a sip of his drink.
“Is she dead?”, Samir asked with a sad look.
“No sure. But in this work its highly likely”, Adelram said honestly.
“Please, whatever you do, watch over him. As I did.”, Samir sincerely said.
“Sure.”, Adelram said as he kept his gaze onto the sea.
“You too, stay alive. Grow old like me.”, Samir said with calm eyes.
“I… I'll try.”, Adelram replied. Adelram seemed not one to show or share much emotion. As he gaze into the sea and as the morning sun began to peak over the horizon it took all he had to hold back tears.
The days past fast as they do when times are good and calm. Most of the time Lewa cleaned Asante's wound. His hand had healed fast there was something else at work, such a wound needed surgery or magik. There was only warm water and bandage wrap, Lewa knew something was different about Asante but couldn't quite but her finger on it. She decided that training would begin just days from reaching the city. “The rocking of the ship will help you with balance.”, she said. “You won't always be on a leveled field.”, she would say when the rocking made Asante vomit or he grimaced in pain. She made him stand still in a bent position, then on one foot, and then bent against a beam with his legs perfectly squared and his arms stretched out forward. She kept one of the emptied barrels of ale under his legs. If he got to low he would hit the barrel and have to be in the position longer. Over his head was the knife he used to open his hand, if his head touched it, then he was too far up and not bent enough. Asante dealt with the pain as best he could, but from a crybaby to a reliant young man was the only improvement he had truly made. They were meant to dock very soon, and Asante couldn’t get any sleep.Tossing and turning, laying still and staring at the ceiling, the wall, or the headboard of his bed. The only things that kept running through his mind, moving too fast for him to try to catch in his hand and hold still long enough to understand, what did Reneé have to do with these people called the Empures. But how did they connect none of it made any sense. Questions swirled around the hazy outlines of his mind, running like dozens of rivers splitting off into impossible waterways that had no end.
Despite the slight buzz running through his veins and the overall distressing nature of the whole business, Asante didn’t feel much of anything, except awake. He grew annoyed fairly quickly, wishing that he could just fall asleep quickly. Why hasn’t something invented an off switch for anyone’s brain yet?He supposed there was an off switch, but he didn’t want to entertain that idea to much depth. He thought of how he would be so now every single day tending to the horses. He thought about his bed back home. What if they went back? What if this was a dream and he would wake up and be on his comfy sheets. But then he remembered those men came and burned down his home. He couldn’t go back even if he really wanted to. Something else that kept him awake was Lewa. She was far from the first female he had seen, but the first girl he noticed. She was no beautiful and nice to him. Caring and helpful the entire time. Adelram though, was the opposite. Adelram had made it very clear to Asante and to Lewa he didn’t think Asante should be with them. Asante felt he was completely right. He was just some kid, an island boy way over his head.
He would never admit it but Adelram would watch over Asante. From the time he spent passed out from blood lost to the very early beginning days of his training. He even watched him sleep a few times. They didn’t talk to each other much, Adelram was with Samir most of the time, he seemed still angry at Lewa for the blatant disregard for his feelings toward Asante. In all that he only uttered a few words to him once. “It get's harder”, he said. But it seemed Asante was up for the task.
The group arrive at the docks of Radan. Without much words uttered between them the horses were unpacked so to speak and saddled and it was the time for goodbyes.
“So…”, Adelram said as he let out a sigh of relief, “Where are you going?”, he asked Samir.
“I'm going to Sovia…”, he and Adelram chuckled. “I'm going to meet some women.
“I thought you said stay an old man and all that nonsense”, Adelram playfully asked.
“Yes, yes. I will meet some women then meet The Woman…”, he said. “And live out my boring days.”, he chuckled.
“I hope you find what your looking for.”, Lewa said. Samir couldn't but think of what Adelram told him and what he told Adelram.
“I wish for you good things as well.”, He said. He walked over to Asante and hugged him.
“Be carful my boy.”, Samir said.
Asante hugged him back, “More than anything. Thank you.”, Asante said sincerely.
Samir gave Lewa a hug and kiss and then approached Adelram. “Find me whenever you need a drinking buddy. I would love to hear about more of your adventures before my boring life is over”, Samir said as his eyed watered.
Adelram's eyes did the same, “Oh they're going to be fucking legendary.”, he said as his voice shake. They shook hands and hugged each other. Samir got back onto his ship and set sail. They all waved goodbye to him. Asante shed tears as he grew further and further away. Adelram tried not to show it, but he felt a pain inside.
“Are you ladies ready to go?”, Lewa playfully asked. The trio got on their horses: Lewa on Dalley, Asante on Lamer , and Adelram on Mandi, which Asante felt a way about.
Lewa led Adelram and Asante to a safe house. It was small and somewhat secluded, they hid in plain sight, because the Empure forces were light around the inner city, which left many unpoliced and made it easy for crimes to be committed. Most soldiers were guarding royals in their homes and one certain Empure General. The place was much like Asante's small and bit cramped which he hadn't noticed in his old home because it was just him. They kept the horses stationary at the front entrance. Lewa took scribes from a shelf and headed upstairs. Asante looked at Adelram who was already relaxed in familiar surroundings eating an apple. Asante went up the stairs as Adelram shoved his apple in his mouth to take off his jacket and pulled out a knife.
Asante looked around and saw Lewa’s jacket and other gear on the floor. He saw Lewa on the balcony. He went outside and it was like that balcony was on a hill. He say the clay and stone houses of the ghetto, the nicer homes of the rich, and at the top was something he had never seem before.
“What is that?”, he asked as he pointed.
“That’s a palace.”, Lewa responded, “Where's Adelram?”, she asked.
“He was-“, Adelram emerges from the side of the balcony he climbed he sat down on a rug and large pillows eating his apple.
“Hello, just stopping a mugging is all.”, Adelram says.
“I'm going to fill him in, correct me if I'm wrong.”, Lewa said to Adelram.
“Sure”, he said.
“Okay Asante this is what you need to know.”, he said.
“What is a Seeker?”, he asked her.
“… How about something a little bit more simple.”, she replied.
Lewa told Asante all he needed to know about his sister, the Seekerz and what they're doing. She told him of the Old Basileus living in the Capital and how a long time ago there was an organization created to find what is known as Gods's Treasured Relics; objects said to exist since the First Woman Gods and control certain aspects of time, reality, and nature itself. Asante tried hard to look as though he understood as Lewa continued. “Some are found and some are not.”, she said. There are five relics, created by her and her three children.
The Eye of Tomoe; said to show the user past, present, future.
The Orb of Gallivant; can help the user teleport through time and space
The Shroud of Kings; not much is known about it. It can either help you fly or turn invisible.
The Sword That Reveals Light; gives the user strength.
The Staff Of Christa; has the power to control nature.
“Each one of these are truly powerful”, Lewa said.
“Oh and also dangerous, don’t forget the dangerous part, Lewa.”, Adelram informed.
“Yes, for instance the sword gives the user a bloodlust”, Lewa explained. Asante seemed to
“How at have overly educated, the look on his face said it all.
“Is there something on fire”, Adelram joked.
“How are you… we supposed to fight something like that?”, Asante asked with his face showing somewhat defeated.
“The Good thing is that the true power of these relics can't be released until they are all together and brought to a specific place.”, Adelram said as he stood and walked over to the table.
“They don't have them all relics as far as we know they only have the Eye of Tomoe.”, Lewa said.
“As far as we know yes, as far as I know, no.”, Adelram said.
“What? What are you talking about?” Lewa said perplexed.
“They have another piece, the sword.”, Adelram informed them, “Would’ve told you but never seemed the right time.’, he said.
“Who has it?”
“A man named Zuberi Yousef, please don't make me say it again”
“Is that so?”, Lewa says.
“Yes, they call him Smasher, he takes the sword and instead of cutting his victims he smashes them with the flat of it. He's here.”, Adelram says.
“He is?” Lewa says with her eyes squinted.
“Yeah he is, I say we go after him soon.”, Adelram suggests. Tension begins to build.
“Not yet, Asante is far from ready for a mission.”, Lewa says. Adelram lets out a puff and goes inside.
Asante felt awkward and a little upset that he was causing a rift between two friends. He didn’t understand why they felt so opposite from each other. But he understood Adelram's reason for him not being there than he understood Lewa's reasons for training him.
“Asante your going to rest up and tomorrow we continue your training, sounds good?”, she asked.
“Great!”, Lewa said, “I'm going to run some errands and I'll return soon.”
Asante stayed on the balcony, not wanting to make a uncomfortable situation more than it already was. He looked at the scribe Lewa had left on the table. He sat down and read them one by one. One scribe spoke about magik another of the relics we was told about. As best he could he tried to make it all make sense. Adelram returns with another apple to the balcony.
“Understand any of it?”, he asked.
“N-No…”, Asante replied.
Adelram approached Asante, he doesn’t know what to make of this sudden conversation. Adelram looks over Asante's shoulder to look at the scribes he's reading. He pick on up from the table, “Its all a lot isn't it?”, Adelram asks.
“Yeah, it is?”, Asante replied.
Adelram quickly changes the subject, “Ever seen someone die…”, he asked, “Their soul leave the body?”
“No, no, I-I never-“
“Ever seen someone with their throat slit?”, Adelram asked. No words could would seep from Asante's lips.
“Ever killed? Seen it? Felt it?”, Adelram’s face is intense, he tightly holds Asante by the shoulder and looks deep into his eyes. He then lets go.
“Of course you haven't.”, he playfully says. “Don't let disturb you.”, Adelram says as he walks away.
Later that night, Asante stood outside giving Lamer a good rub. He could hear Lewa and Adelram arguing from outside amidst the crickets and the soft wind.
“I still don't think that’s her brother.”, Adelram says.
“You have got to be kidding me.”, Lewa says, laughing in disbelief.
“If he’s telling the truth,” Adelram shot back, his shouldn’t make. Let’s say he is telling the truth and he really is Reneé’s brother. Look at him,” he gestured to Asante, “do you think he could survive a day in this world without you? And say he can, just to stack the positives because you like that so much. Do you want to be the one responsible for-“
“If anyone is going to be held responsible for ruining things its you.”, Lewa said, her arms folded.
“Me? How?”, Adelram asked, “Indulge me.”
“You know how I feel about that.”, Lewa says. The room us quiet and still. Adelram drops his head knowing what she speaks of.
“He was my father…”, Adelram says, the words barely understood was they came pass his locked teeth.
“You know… you know what revenge does to people. What it did to us “, Lewa says sincerely.
“You plan on telling Asante why Reneé was captured in the first place.”, Adelram says, as if he knows the answer already.
“I'm not saying he shouldn't die. He has one of the Gods relics-“
“I don't care about relics!”, Adelram exclaimed, “The only thing I care about now is killing this man.”, Adelram says, his shoulders drop as if the truth was a burden he’s lifted.
“You can't do this. I can't lose you too.”, Lewa says softly. Lewa comes closer to Adelram and wipes a tear from his eye. He removes her hand leaves without uttering a word.
Asante wished the ground would swallow him whole. He had never felt so much like there were bugs crawling under his skin as he did in this moment. He supposed it wasn’t being invisible after all, it was being noticed. It was being discussed like he wasn’t standing right there that made him feel do.