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Knight of the Moon-part 2: Questions
Darin awoke one morning, with nothing to look forward to and nothing to look back on. But that all changed when he met a strange girl, and was attacked by people claiming to be 'sun warriors'. Now, he searches for answers, but getting them will be the real challenge...
She finally caught up to him as he walked into a small tavern. Inside was dark and mostly empty. There was the smell of burnt food in the air. The man behind the bar was big and muscular. His gut nearly fell over the bar and he almost knocked over some glasses every time he walked by.
Darin picked a table in the back and sat down. The girl was soon with him. She sat down across from him at the circular table. A server came over to the table, Darin ordered another hot cider, the girl passed on the offer.
“What should I…?” The girl started.
“Let’s start with your name.” Darin cut in. The girl shrank back a little in her chair.
“I…I’m… Leah.” She said.
“Leah.” Darin said slowly, as if savoring the sound, “Interesting name.” He paused as his drink came, “So how did you know mine?”
“I…I… was told.” She said in a small voice. Her eyes dropped to the table.
“By whom?” Darin pressed.
“Them.” She squeaked out. She seemed to be on the verge of crying.
“Who’s them?” He asked even harder.
“The priests.” She said. Her voice was barely auditable. A tear rolled down her cheek. Darin let up a little.
“Then let’s start at the beginning.” He said, “Why do you need my help?” She seemed to calm down a bit.
“I… Do you…know what a…sun child is?” she asked.
“The things from the stories?” Darin replied, “The people who are said to have been born from the sun’s will?” Leah nodded.
“But those are just stories. Right?” Darin continued. This time Leah was still. She was quiet for a moment.
“You need to talk.” Darin said. He was beginning to lose patience, “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me anything.” Leah looked up. She was…scared.
“They aren’t stories.” She said, “They are all true.”
“So you’re telling me that the stories of the god who ruled the sky and his army of super powered soldiers are real?” Darin asked almost sarcastically. Leah nodded solemnly, her eyes dropping back to the table.
“Yes.” She said, “They’re real…and…they looking for…for…”
“For what?” Darin asked impatiently. There was a pause. The server came back to the table. Darin put in an order for some food, Leah hesitated, then declined any offer. The server left, then, Leah finally answered;
“For…you.” She said. Darin was silent for a moment.
“Why me?” He asked.
“Because you’re…the…the one.” She said timidly.
“Stop talking in riddles!” Darin said, “What are you saying?”
“You’re the Knight of the Moon.” She said quickly, finally looking up, “You’re the warrior who will bring balance back to nature and defeat the sun god.” Darin was silent for a while. Leah waited, scared and hopeful all at once.
“I’m a what?” Darin asked, “Never heard of that in the stories. To be honest this all sounds very…” he paused as he searched for the right word.
“Please.”She begged, “You have to believe me. You have to.” She was shaking, “I can’t go on alone.”
“Why did those soldiers want you?” Darin finally asked.
“They… they knew I was, looking… for you. They wanted… to stop me.”
“You called them sun warriors.” Darin said, “What does that mean?”
“Disciples of the sun.” she said.
“Which are?” He prodded.
“They’re soldiers.” Darin shook his head.
“You’re going to have to give me more than that.”
“They have powers beyond humans. They fight for their god.” Darin gave up, realizing he wasn’t going to get any more out of her. Finally, another thought came.
“What could I do against these, ‘gods’?” He asked.
“You’re the Knight of the Moon. You are the only human child of the moon…Only you…can fight them…can defeat them.”
“Why do I need to defeat them?” Leah was quiet. Then, a tear rolled down her cheek.
“There will be a…a war.” She said softly, “The soldiers… will destroy all of the children of the moon.”
“You have to stop stammering.” Darin said, “It’s hard to understand.” Leah blushed. Suddenly food appeared. There was quite a bit and Leah looked surprised.
“This is a lot of food.” She said. There was a strange look in her eyes.
“Then eat some.” Darin said before reaching in to grab some bread. The meal was of bread with cheese and some hot soup. Some pastries sat on a plate to the side. He poured a bowl of soup and pushed it over to her. She accepted it, but asked;
“Why are you-?”
“Because you look starving and I doubt you have any money.” Darin cut in. The meal was eaten in silence. After it was gone Darin spoke again;
“How do you know I’m this Knight of the Moon?” Leah set down the spoon she was fiddling with. A faint smile appeared on her lips.
“You ask a lot of questions.” She said, almost giggling, “I know because I can sense it in you. You give me a feeling, unlike the other sun children, a kind of… freedom, in you.”
“Does that make you a sun child as well?” Leah’s smile vanished.
“I…am.” The server returned one final time, Darin paid for the meal and stood up.
“And what do you plan on doing now that you found me.” He started to walk away.
“I want to help you learn. Learn to use your abilities and… how to find the sun god.” She said following him. They walked through the mostly empty streets.
“One more thing,” Darin began, “If you are a child of the sun, why would you want to find a child of the moon and fight against your own people?” She was quiet for a moment.
“They’re not my people.” She finally said, “And I don’t want them to fight.”
“Who are the children of the moon, if not humans?”
“I thought you said only one more question.” She complained in a small voice, though Darin was beginning to realize that it was just her voice was naturally quiet.
“Creatures of the night.” She said, “Wolves, panthers, ravens…”
“Sounds like this is going to be fun.” Darin said, excited for what was to come, for the first time in a long time. Suddenly she stopped walking. Darin stopped and looked where she was looking. There was a small crowd of people. They were talking quietly and were clearly focused on each other. Their yellow and orange uniforms were bright in the sun.
“More of them?” Darin asked.
“Sun…sun warriors.” She whispered. She was shaking. She shrunk back a little almost as if to hide behind Darin.
“What do you think we should do?” He asked. She shook her head.
“I don’t know.” She said.
“Then let’s go around.” Darin led the still shaking girl away from the group. They walked down several streets and passed through a few crowded corners before Leah finally stopped shaking.
“What’s with you?” Darin asked, more than a little insensitively.
“I…I’m sorry…I didn’t mean to…” tears began to fill her eyes.
“Don’t cry.” Darin told her, a little calmer, “Let’s just get going, as long as you can point the way.”
Leah finally realized they were standing at the end of the village. Outside the village was a thick forest of trees that lined on side of the well worn path while on the other side was an expansive plain that seemed to stretched on as far as the eyes could see. Both of them knew though, that a half a day’s walk that way and a vast mountain range would come into view, which formed the eastern border of the kingdom.
“It’s…down the path.” Leah said.
“We’ll use the trees as cover.” Darin said, “Then we’ll make our way north. And while we do, you can tell me more of what I’m supposed to do.” Leah nodded.
Then they began their journey north, neither knowing how much this would change their lives.